When oral splints and mouthguards fail to provide relief from the painful symptoms of TMJ disorder, TMJ surgery may be your best option for restoring the full use of the joints in your jaw. Our doctors offer various surgical treatments for TMJ disorder at our clinic in Monroe, LA. Oral Surgery Associates is proud to be the only oral surgery practice in the Monroe area that has been open for more than 20 years and strives to provide effective surgical care.
Am I a Candidate for TMJ Surgery?
Because surgical intervention is so invasive, nonsurgical options are usually the first line of defense for patients suffering from TMJ disorder. While many people are able to find relief without surgery, it may be the best option for some patients, depending on the underlying cause of their TMJ disorder.
We may recommend surgical solutions if you have tried non-surgical treatments for TMJ disorder but still experience:
- Consistent pain radiating from the jawbone area
- An inability to comfortably open or close the mouth
- Difficulty eating
- Limited jaw mobility
However, we may advise against TMJ surgery if:
- Your symptoms are intermittent
- You have not yet explored multiple non-surgical options
- Your symptoms are not severe
- You can open and close your jaw with only mild discomfort
During your examination at our Monroe clinic, one of our doctors will ask about your symptoms and evaluate your jaw. Our office has several advanced imaging devices to examine how your jaw functions, including digital x-rays, an iTero scanner, a 3D cone beam scanner, and an Osstell ISQ scanner.
TMJ Surgery Options
During this procedure, one of our doctors injects fluid into your jaw joints to wash out byproducts of inflammation. This can significantly reduce pressure and, consequently, minimize pain. Furthermore, many patients find that this minimally invasive procedure also improves their jaw’s range of motion. According to a study performed in 2012, the treatment has a success rate of up to 80 percent, making it a reliable option for many patients.
During this surgery, a small hole is made above the jaw joint. One of our doctors can then use this opening to insert special surgical tools with a light attached. They then adjust the muscle, bone, and ligaments of the joint as needed to provide relief. While a more invasive option than arthrocentesis, this procedure offers a significantly shorter recovery time with a lower risk of complication.
If a case is especially severe, our doctors may recommend open-joint surgery. This procedure provides great access to the jaw joints. Once one of our doctors has made an incision along the jawbone joint, they can remove tissue or bone growth that is obstructing jawbone motion. While the recovery time is longer, it is a much more powerful surgical option than arthrocentesis or arthroscopy.
Recovery from arthroscopy usually takes several days to a week, while patients who undergo open-joint surgery will need a week or more to recover. You should plan to take a few days off work after either of these procedures if possible. Patients who undergo arthrocentesis, in contrast, can typically return to their normal routine the day after treatment.
To make sure your recovery is as smooth as possible, be sure to:
- Take anti-inflammatory drugs to manage pain
- Avoid solid foods that could strain your jaw
- Use an ice pack to control swelling
- Be mindful to cover your bandage when showering or bathing
- Replace your bandage regularly and use antibiotic creams as directed by your doctor
- Follow your doctor’s recovery plan closely
Contact Us Today
If you have tried conservative treatments for TMJ but still suffer from pain and discomfort, one of our doctors may be able to provide relief through TMJ surgery. To schedule your first consultation, contact our office online or call (318) 388-2621.