Welcome to TMJ Medical's Partial and Total Reconstructive Prostheses Systems. Our implants offer surgeons several treatment options, from partial joint reconstruction to Patient-Specific Prostheses unique toeach individual patient's needs. This informational portion is intended to give you some answers and treatment options for temporomandibular disease (TMD). However, this is not intended to be an exhaustive or comprehensive treatise on this subject of alloplastic joint reconstruction.
Temporomandibular disease does not merely suggest problems that are isolated to the joints but includes all disturbances associated with the function of the masticatory system. When establishing a diagnosis and developing an appropriate treatment plan for the patient, it is vital to understand the (1) muscles, (2) the temporomandibular joints, and (3) the dentition. A good, sound occlusal condition is paramount for healthy muscle function during chewing, swallowing, speaking, and mandibular posture. Disturbances in the occlusal condition can lead to increased muscle tonus (hyperactivity) and symptoms. Nocturnal bruxism, however, appears to be relatively unrelated to tooth contacts and is more closely related to changes in levels of emotional stress and sleep stages (CNS activity).
How The TMJ Works
A Healthy TMJ
The temporomandibular joint is formed where the rounded head of the condyle of the lower jaw contacts the fossa-eminence of the temporal bone. The joint has a smooth, soft tissue separating material between the bony surfaces called the meniscus or disc. It covers the ball of the condyle, and muscle tissue moves the meniscus in conjunction with the movement of the condyle. Large muscles for movement, chewing, and swallowing power the jaw. When all of the parts are healthy, a temporomandibular joint should move easily and smoothly (Drawing 1).
An Unhealthy TMJ
There are symptoms that may indicate a TMJ has a problem. Those symptoms can include pain, clicking or joint sounds, restricted opening, and radiographic evidence (x-rays, MRI, MRAr, tomography, CT Scans, and/or a bone scan) of joint degeneration. Take time to discuss each individual diagnosis and any non-surgical options with your patient.