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Guide to Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)


Updated May 30, 2014

8 of 10

Part 8 of 10 - Irreversible Treatments May Make TMD Worse


Scientists have learned that certain irreversible treatments, such as surgical replacement of jaw joints with artificial implants, may cause severe pain and permanent jaw damage. Some of these devices may fail to function properly or may break apart in the jaw over time. Before undergoing any surgery on the jaw joint, it is very important to get other independent opinions.

Vitek Implants

The Food and Drug Administration has recalled artificial jaw joint implants made by Vitek, which may break down and damage surrounding bone. If you have these implants, see your oral surgeon or dentist. If there are problems with your implants, the devices may need to be removed.

Other Irreversible Treatments

Other irreversible treatments that are of little value, and may make the problem worse include:

  • orthodontics to change the bite
  • restorative dentistry (which uses crown and bridge work to balance the bite)
  • occlusal adjustment (grinding down teeth to bring the bite into balance)

Conservative, Reversible Treatments Strongly Recommended Before Considering Invasive Treatments

Although more studies are needed on the safety and effectiveness of most TMD treatments, scientists strongly recommend using the most conservative, reversible treatments possible before considering invasive treatments. Even when the TMD problem has become chronic, most patients still do not need aggressive types of treatment.

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