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When to Start “Phase II” TMJ Treatment?

adult man smiling with teeth
TMJ treatment is a journey to better oral and overall health. Thus far, we’ve been focused on “Phase I” TMJ treatment. You’ve been wearing your TMJ orthotic 24 hours a day, and we’ve been making modifications to help guide your jaw into the correct position.

“Phase II” TMJ treatment in Woburn and Winchester, MA, moves beyond the orthotic and permanently fixes the position of your jaw through various dental treatments.

Not everyone decides to move into Phase II treatment, but they don’t necessarily want to wear an orthotic 24/7 anymore. If you’re in this boat, talk to Dr. Clancy, your TMJ dentist, about getting a custom-fitted removable orthotic. You’ll wear this at night, and it’ll help move your jaw back into the correct position. This option isn’t great for everyone, though. The movement of your jaw in and out of correct alignment throughout the day can cause discomfort, and for some people, it won’t alleviate TMJ symptoms. This is where Phase II TMJ treatment in Woburn and Winchester comes in.  

Identifying the Need for Phase II TMJ Treatment

The easiest and most effective way to determine if you’re ready and need to move to Phase II TMJ treatment is to talk with Dr. Clancy. As you know, Dr. Clancy is an experienced and skilled TMJ dentist who can work with you to find the best solution for your situation. Being an LVI Fellow, he’s trained specifically in neuromuscular dentistry; you can trust him to help you make the right decision.

Still, here are some things to consider when identifying the need for Phase II TMJ Treatment. 

  1. Are you symptom-free? If you haven’t gotten the results you desire from conservative treatments, phase II TMJ treatment—while more invasive—will be a more permanent fix. 
  2. Are you wearing your orthotic at night and still experiencing symptoms during the day? If so, your nightly orthotic isn’t enough to keep your jaw aligned, and you’ll need a more permanent solution. 
  3. Do you want a fix without an orthotic? If so, Phase II TMJ treatment is your ticket. 

What Your Phase II TMJ Treatment Could Look Like

Knowing precisely what your Phase II TMJ treatment in Woburn and Winchester, MA, looks like is tricky because your treatment plan is customized to fit your specific needs. What someone else needs to realign their jaw isn’t likely exactly what you need. However, these are some of the more common dental treatments in Phase II.

Orthodontic treatments for malocclusion correction

“Malocclusion” is the medical term for a misaligned bite. If your bit is off, your jaw alignment is off too. We practice epigenetic orthodontics to move your jaw back into alignment. Epigenetic orthodontics differs from Invisalign or traditional orthodontics because it involves the whole face. Instead of just focusing on the teeth and teeth roots, we address problems like narrow palates and narrow arches of teeth and stimulate the generation of new cells in the jaw, even in adulthood. This full-face approach helps us move your jaw into alignment while creating a balanced and beautiful smile. 

Occlusal adjustments and equilibration

Occlusal equilibrium involves reshaping your teeth to let your jaw come back into alignment. We see this most often with patients who have severely worn teeth, but there are other situations in which this treatment would be best too. 

Full mouth reconstruction

Full mouth reconstruction is a term that refers to a series of dental treatments performed to solve a specific problem. In this case, it’s TMJ! You may need a few treatments to help put your jaw into the proper position and keep it there. Some common treatments include dental implants, dental crowns, and fillings. The bonus benefit of full mouth reconstruction is that you’ll end up with a beautiful and enhanced smile in addition to alleviated TMJ.

Keep These Things in Mind

Of course, there are other things to consider when deciding on Phase II TMJ treatment; cost and the importance of a customized treatment plan.

We accept most major insurances and offer financing plans and payment options because we believe everyone should get the treatment they deserve.  However, remember to talk with your dental insurance before starting treatment to see what they’ll cover. 

Having a customized treatment plan is essential to effective TMJ treatment. Unfortunately, we have seen patients who choose a one-size-fits-all approach and end up with more TMJ symptoms than they started with. Dr. Clancy and our dental team in Woburn & Winchester, MA, can help you get started with Phase II TMJ treatment. Give us a call at (781) 396-8558 to get started. If you have other questions, please reach out! We are happy to help.

By Ryan M. Clancy, DMD, MAGD, LVIF, FPFA, FIAPA | May 24th, 2023 | TMJ

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