TMJ DISORDERS: DIAGNOSIS
Anyone who suffers from head, neck and/or facial pain will benefit from a thorough examination and, if indicated, treatment by a dentist who is experienced in managing TMJ disorders.
Given the importance of your dental/medical history, we will provide you with a TMD Questionnaire to complete in advance of your first visit to our office. TMJ disorders (and/or sleep disorders) often have complex dental/medical histories and the information you provide is an essential part of developing a diagnosis.
Please plan to be with us for 30 minutes to 1 hour, which is the time required to complete a thorough examination. We believe that patients should be partners in treatment, and we will provide you with a great deal of information. We will also ensure that there is ample time for you to ask questions and voice any concerns.
Step 1: Dental/Medical History
Our goal is to help you. That’s why each new patient appointment begins with your description of your symptoms, a discussion of your dental/medical history, identification of your chief complaint, and a conversation about the results you are seeking from treatment in our office.
As part of the review of your dental/medical history, Dr. Bailey will consider your previous trauma history, treatment history, headache and pain history, and sleep history in detail. Genetics can also predispose you to developing a TMJ disorder so Dr. Bailey may ask about your family history, too.
Step 2: Clinical Examination
During the clinical examination, Dr. Bailey will examine your face and jaw for pain and tenderness, listen to the joint for noises (i.e., clicking, popping or grating), check your bite and measure how wide you can open your jaw.
Among the things Dr. Bailey will be look for and evaluate are:
- Tenderness in your jaw joint and/or surrounding muscles.
- Sensitive or painful areas around your head, face and neck.
- Movement of your jaw as you slide it from side to side.
- Joint noises that occur as you open and close your mouth.
- How wide you can comfortably open your mouth.
In addition, if you haven’t had a panoramic radiograph taken by your dentist in the past 6 months, we will take one for you.
What to Expect Upon Completion
Upon completion of your initial evaluation, Dr. Bailey will be able to ascertain whether or not you will benefit from further evaluation and treatment in our office, should be referred to another practitioner, or if your problem is likely to resolve with simple treatments you can do on your own, at home.
If we determine that our office can help you, Dr. Bailey will provide you with a preliminary diagnosis and treatment plan (including costs). She will also discuss the rationale for your course of treatment, provide you with a tentative working prognosis and schedule an appointment for further diagnostic records as needed based on the results of your initial evaluation.
Additional diagnostic records may include, but are not limited to, CT scans to view the bony detail of your joint or MRIs to view the soft tissues of your jaw joint including the disc. Additionally, if Dr. Bailey determines that there may be a co-existing sleep disorder (which is common among patients with TMJ disorders), with your permission she will arrange for you to complete a diagnostic polysomnogram (i.e., overnight sleep study) and have it read by a board-certified physician who will confirm the diagnosis prior to treatment in our office.
Payment & Insurance
Payment is due at the time of service. We accept:
- Credit Card: VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover
We also offer CareCredit™ plus other financing options for the convenience of our patients.
Insurance reimbursement for covered benefits is paid directly to the patient. For glossary of terms that may be helpful when communicating with your health insurance provider, click here.