Does your jaw click when you’re talking or eating? Do you wake up in the morning to a sore or “locked” jaw? Are you suffering from persistent ear pain that your doctor can’t diagnose? If you answered “yes” to even one of those questions, there may be a problem with your temporomandibular joint (also known as TMJ). The TMJ is a very versatile joint that allows the jaw to hinge, making eating and speaking possible. Because it’s used so often, misalignment problems associated with the TMJ are very common and can be quite painful. Unlike with any other joint in the body, you can’t rest the temporomandibular joint. Just holding your head up can cause the muscles around the joint to contract. If you have misalignment problems, the pain can feel inescapable. Luckily, there are some real ways to treat and cure TMD (temporomandibular disorders).
Unfortunately, your average dentist will want to give you a mouthguard and call it a day. This is problematic for a few different reasons. For starters, this course of treatment doesn’t try to address the root of the issue. If your dentist doesn’t take a CT scan of your neck, jaw, and mouth, they’ll never find out what’s wrong and what’s causing you pain. Add to that the fact that mouthguards won’t really help with alignment issues (which are frequently TMD’s instigator) and you have a sad situation for a lot of patients. Nothing is more miserable than living with TMD and thinking that there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
When Dr. Bobbi Stanley opened her dental practice over twenty-five years ago, a major goal of hers was to give her patients the best possible treatment she could give them — even if it meant attending CE courses to better her methods. She quickly discovered that dental school does not prepare new dentists for TMD patients. So, over the years, Dr. Stanley learned extensively about cutting-edge TMD treatments in order to better help her patients. She created a practice where TMD patients could find real, long-term pain relief with treatments that focused on misalignment issues instead of ignoring them. Dr. Stanley’s TMD treatments combine TENSing, orthodontics, and botox to create a powerful non-medicinal answer to jaw pain. Because our office is so comprehensive, we can do all three of those things under one roof.
Recently, Dr. Stanley welcomed another TMD specialist to our practice: Dr. James Harold. Dr. Harold has been practicing dentistry for forty-four years and revolutionized many of the methods Dr. Stanley uses. He’s been helping patients become pain-free for decades and he can help you as well.
Finding a dentist who is patient enough to actually want to treat TMD is rare. A lot of dentists just won’t see TMD patients because their cases can be time-consuming and (if you’re using the wrong methods) difficult. Like we mentioned above, other dentists just want to treat TMJ with a mouthguard instead of addressing the root issue. When you’re looking for a quality TMD dentist, look for someone who is willing to spend time with your case and really dig into what’s truly causing your jaw pain. Make sure they perform CT scans during their consultations and ask about what kinds of treatments they offer. Find a dentist who’s enthusiastic about helping TMD patients because those are the dentists who have spent time learning and researching new and better treatments.
If you live in or around Cary, Raleigh, Apex, Morrisville, or beyond, we’d love to help you! Dr. Harold is currently taking new patients. Call 919.460.9665 and grab a consultation spot today.