Arthroscopy is a TMJ surgery that is usually performed when the patient is under general anesthesia. In this procedure, the surgeon will make a small cut right in front of the ear, and proceed to insert a long and thin instrument containing light and lens. Whatever is captured on the lens will be projected on a video screen for the surgeon to study the surrounding area of the joint. Depending on the root cause of the TMJ discomfort the patient is experiencing, the surgeon may choose to realign the TMJ disc, or remove inflamed tissue. As only tiny incisions are needed to perform arthroscopic surgery, the patient will have a shorter recovery period, less scarring, and less discomfort. This procedure also has fewer complications than open-joint surgery.
Arthrocentesis is a surgery performed under local anesthesia. This procedure is usually recommended to patients who find that their jaws may suddenly lock when it is in a closed position. In this procedure, needles that contain sterile fluids will be inserted into the affected area, and the affected area will be washed with the fluids. Sometimes, surgical instruments will be required to help dislodge a disc that is out of place or to remove scar tissue. Arthrocentesis can help to reduce inflammation in the temporomandibular joint.
As compared to the previous procedures, open-joint surgery is considered a more major one and will be performed under general anesthesia. In an open surgery, a longer incision will be made in order to insert instruments. Open-joint surgery will be recommended for patients that have tumors surrounding or within the TMJ, bone chips or severe scarring in the TMJ, or if the structures which make up the jaw joint wears away. This procedure requires a longer period of healing and there is a higher chance of nerve injury and tissue scarring. However, in severe cases of TMJ pain, this may be the best solution to treat the problem at its root.
If you suffer from TMJ pain, it is important to visit a healthcare provider who can recommend the best treatment option for you. TMJ surgery is often the last resort for patients who have tried all other treatment options but to little avail.
In fact, most surgeons recommend their patients to try non-surgical treatment before any surgery. Here at Head Pain Institute, we offer different preoperative treatment options such as a splint, joint or muscle injections, and hot or cold therapy to help combat the pain you feel in the TMJ. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that HPI has a 90% success rate at non-surgical treatment because our team uses evidence-based medical and dental treatment options. Our team of highly skilled professionals will be able to help patients gain a wider perspective of their condition and ensure that they always feel comfortable and functional.. If you are dealing with TMJ pain, feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment with us today!