We have touched base on sleep apnea and your role as a dentist, but what about craniofacial pain and TMD treatment? As a dentist you hold an important role in both areas. Jaw pain is not just stress, it can be a more problematic than just that. When a patient experiences pain in the jaw and muscles of the face and neck, it might be TMD. If that is the case, as a dentist what is your role?
As a dentist it is your duty to identify problems with your patients. If your patient visits your office complaining of jaw pain, face pain or neck pain, it doesn’t just mean they are suffering from stress—it can be a lot more than that. Identifying the sources of the craniofacial or temporomandibular joint pain is important in providing a treatment solution for pain relief. By understanding the source of pain and if it is dental related, you can offer an appropriate solution to eliminate or lessen the discomfort.
Often times, oral appliance therapy is just what your patient might need. Treatments will be tailored to each patient’s individual symptoms and contributing factors. It may be difficult to resolve and treatment focuses on management of the symptoms and restoring function. Simple treatment to relieve the discomfort and restore proper functioning is often all that is needed. Typically, a conservative treatment, such as oral appliance therapy, is recommended because it causes no permanent changes in the structure.
Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel for more information on craniofacial pain and TMD for a better understanding of how to properly care for your patients.