Worried about TMJ treatment cost?

tmj-treatment-costMany people who suffer from a problem related to their temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are understandably worried about the cost of treatment, especially because avoiding treatment is likely to make the problem worse in the long run.

Your TMJ treatment price is partly dependent on how much correction you need to relieve the pain and realign the bite. If you are satisfied with using an orthotic device, the TMJ orthotic cost and TMJ mouthguard cost will not be so great after determining where the best place is for your bite.

Mouthguards, also called splints , are plastic protectors that are soft and fit over the lower and upper teeth to stop teeth grinding. Guards make it less easy to clench the jaws, which will help to relieve TMJ pain. One of our dentists will take a mold of both lower and upper teeth to ensure a custom-fit for your TMJ mouth guard. Mouthguards will cost somewhere from $200 to $1,000.

More severe TMJ Disorders require the use of specialized appliances called Physiologic Orthotics.  These orthotics are designed to allow orthopedic changes or healing to occur over time.  These orthotics are reversible treatments in the short term but extended use allows long term healing to occur requiring permanent bite correction.

Many patients only need partime appliance wear and do not experience bite changes while other patients find that they can achieve incredibly significan improvements in their quality of life only thru healing and long term correction.

If we advise you that an orthotic device is only a temporary solution to restore your TMJ so that you are pain free, you may need  a second phase of therapy to complete your treatment.  It is important to understand using a n orthotic longer than three months may allow healing to occur necesitating permanent correction.  Walk back or part-time wear allows the patient to return to their current bite which may be pathologic.

Possible second phase treatment include:

1.  Orthodontics

2. Crown and Bridge treatment

3. Combination of orthodontics and crown and bridge

4. Full mouth reconstruction. This could mean a number of extra procedures, such as replacing missing teeth with dental implants topped with a crown or, if you have crooked teeth, you could have veneers fitted to conceal their shape.  This can become very expensive but is frequently sought out by patients due to amazing cosmetic results obtainable in just a few visits.  This procedure has been called a virtual facelift or dental facelift due to awesome results when done utilizing Physiologic Dentistry.

5. The use of Semi permanent or long term cast overlay orthotics offer excellent long term stabilization with minimally invasive treatment.  The advantage to these treatments is that all other options are still available in the future to the patient.

6. Surgery to the TM Joints or orthognathic jaw surgery to alter jaw relations jaw.  This is the least conservative and most invasive,  risky  and expensive of all procedures.  Costs can run from a  tens of thousands of dollars into very expensive and complex cases costing a hundred thousand dollars or more.  Surgery must be carefully considered and should not be done lightly.  A famous quote is “There is no disease or disorder that can’t be made worse by sticking a knife in it”  This does not mean don’t do surgery but proceed with caution and make sure you understand what can go wrong and the implications  of surgical failure or morbidity.  The history of TMJoint surgery is spotty at best but is ideal for a very small percentage of patients

7.  A small percentage of patients can have coronoplasty as their final phase of treatment.  These patients have small adjustments to the biting surfaces of their teeth to achive a precision bite.  This should never be done as a first phase of treatment but only after careful evaluation and symptom remission.  The exception is when their is a small or isolated problem caused by limited dental restoration.

Why is dentistry sometimes expensive?

Expensive is relative and the emotional cost of living in chronic pain may outweigh the financial costs in eliminating the pain.  A series of articles in Cranio Journal showed a 300% increase in medical expenses in all feilds of medicine in TMJ patients.  The cost of dentistry is small compared to medical expenses that patients with chronic pain often need.

tmj-dentist-costDentistry is one area of health where no one person is the same. In particular, the cost of TMJ orthopedic reconstruction and/or smile rejuvenation can vary by large amounts.  The presenting condition and health of the patients can make costs variable.   The types of treatments and the cost and quality of labratory costs can also vary widely.  Just as architects and structural engineers make blueprints and models of new buildings dntists utilize wax-ups as models to predict final outcome.  There are many steps that an experienced physiologic dentists do when the patient is not present . Impressions of your teeth are taken  so that the final result is achieved on the model prior tomaking changes to the teeth.  This avoids most problems that occur.  Planning is the key to successful and efficient treatment.  Excellent plannig leads to great patient experiences.

Inserting a dental implant is another customized dental procedure, as no one recipient is the same. The size of the dental implant will depend on how much good bone you have to provide its foundation. Once screwed in to place, the artificial tooth will need to match the surrounding teeth for size, color and angle.  Dental implants are an incredible tool allowing me to create better physiology and comfort.

TMJ treatment may or may not require the need for surgery to reposition the joint. If it does, it takes skill and time to perform the procedure. In a nutshell, for us to use our skills to improve your TMJ, time is used to diagnose, plan and implement a treatment plan so that you, the patient, can benefit.

Time is money and custom based procedures take more time, so they cost more.

We can help you can make treatment affordable

treament-tmj-costYou first have to decide what you would like in consultation with us so that you can live a pain free and healthier, less stressful life. You can ask for a quotation from us for the different types of treatment you are interested in. Once your treatment plan has been approved by both you and us we will finalize the cost.

The most improtant step in TMJ Dysfuntion treatment is the Diagnostic Physiologic Orthotic.  This is not a simple splint or mouthguard but rather a sophisticated orthopedic appliance that allows the patient to experience improvement in Phase 1 treatment before commiting to complex treatment. Many patients have had TMJ treatment with a variety of appliances.  It is important to understand that the position and physiology of the jaw not the piece of plastic “POP” is what creates change.

We firmly believe in clearly explaining costs of phase 1 treatment and the possible need of phase 2 treatment  prior to initiating treatment.   You can pay using a credit card from your bank if you don’t have instant cash available. We can help you with TMJ treatment financing, too. You may qualify for CareCredit and approval is forthcoming based on information you have provided in your credit application and your past credit history.  Of course, you can pay with cash or a check if you prefer.

We make it as easy as we can to ensure you get the most out of life – pain free.  Living in chronic pain is an oxymoron, a more accurate description is suffering in chronic pain.  I often find that I don’t really meet my patients until their pain is eliminated.  Only then does their true personality emerge, this is the real person.