I have been practicing dentistry for many years so I have seen many Temporo-Mandibular Disorder (TMD) cases. I find that the more I learn, the more I need to learn. There is a lot of debate about TMD but not a lot of good information and, currently, dental education does not prepare dentists to treat TMD successfully. Many dentists find it arduous and frustrating and others just don’t know enough about it to help their patients resolve their issues.
TMD is multi-faceted and incredibly challenging to treat. As philosophies differ among dentists, and personality differences come into play, the limited information that is available is often misleading. To make this even more difficult, many TMD cases can be quite complex in nature, and each patient comes with their own unique challenges and limitations. Many of our patients come from all over the country, and are often referred by other health care professionals after trying and failing at many forms of therapy, modality and diagnosis. When I work with a TMD patient, it requires a whole different level of precision, patience, and skill. Many TMD patients have emotional and psychological issues as a result of being in chronic pain for many years and may have limitations, which can be extremely time consuming in a typical general practice setting.