Dr. Judith Cope | Dr. Gerald Wexler

By: Cope Judith Dr  09-12-2011
Keywords: Tmd

Management of TMD

TMD encompasses many different disorders and accordingly treatment varies depending on each situation.  At your first appointment, a thorough assessment will be carried out and we will discuss your condition and treatment options. Recommended treatment is subject to change or modification. Everyone has a different healing response. The first phase of treatment is diagnostic as well as palliative and may include the wear of a comfortable intraoral appliance on a full or part time basis, which reduces tension of the joints and muscles and allows healing of these structures.  Physical modalities such as physiotherapy, infra-red treatments, or ultra low frequency TENS therapy may be incorporated into your care. You are also an important contributor to your treatment outcome, as home exercises and behavior and stress management play a significant role in healing.

TMD and OSA should not be treated as isolated conditions. 75% of people with TMD have OSA as the cause of their joint dysfunction. 52% of OSA patients have TMD. It is very important to assess your condition thoroughly for your treatment to be successful.

In a small percentage of cases phase II therapy,  such as orthodontics or restorative dentistry,  is required to modify your bite and place your jaw in a comfortable and physiologic position. Surgical treatments are rarely needed. Not everyone can experience complete recovery, but most can expect significant improvement and a better quality of life.

We believe in long-term management of your jaw health. A yearly assessment of your jaw function as well as your appliance will help you remain in a stable condition.


 

Snoring/Sleep Apnea

Snoring and sleep apnea are caused by narrowing of your upper airway while you sleep. Narrowing of the airway may cause vibration, which results in snoring. If the airway collapses, you stop breathing. This is called apnea. Every time this happens during the night your body struggles to get oxygen and you wake up to start breathing again. This can affect your health and quality of life. The adverse effects of apnea are contributing factors to daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, arrhythmias, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, and depression. Many motor vehicle accidents are attributed to day time sleepiness as a result of sleep apnea.

Apnea can only be diagnosed with a sleep study, which will measure your breathing, heart rate, oxygen saturation level in your blood, muscle activity, as well as other functions.

 
 

Oral Appliance Therapy

If you have mild apnea, simple snoring, or cannot tolerate CPAP therapy, then an oral appliance can be worn during sleep. This appliance holds your bottom jaw and tongue in a more forward position, which then opens your airway.

An appliance can also be worn to improve the effectiveness of CPAP. There are many different designs of oral appliances, such as Somnomed, TAP, Silencer, Herbst, Klearway, EMA, Tongue retaining devices, Silencer, etc. An appliance will be selected for you that best meets your needs.

New Patient Experience

We would like to get to know you. Your first appointment is a consultation; a thorough assessment and examination will be conducted and the condition of your jaw and/or pain problems will be reviewed with you. We will work together in discussing any concerns, treatment options, and arrange any future appointments. We believe everyone should be well informed and welcome all questions. At this appointment you will have the opportunity to get to know each of our skilled team members.

Recalls

We strongly believe in follow-up care and education in long term management of jaw health. We suggest a yearly assessment once treatment is completed to evaluate your jaw condition and make any adjustments to your appliance to have it functioning optimally for you.

Appointments

We will do our best to verify your appointment, however if we are unable to contact you, we expect that you will honour your appointment, as this is your responsibility. If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, we require 2 business days notice, so that another patient may take advantage of that time. Failure to notify us may result in a charge. We feel your time is valuable and do our best to be prompt. However, occasionally emergencies may cause a delay in our schedule.

Personal Data

In order to ensure effective communication, please help us keep your personal records up to date. We ask that you notify us with any changes in address, telephone number, medical status, or health care providers. Our office is compliant with the Privacy Policy and all information is confidential.

Payment/Insurance Policy

Fees are the responsibility of the patient and are due at time of service. We will do everything possible to assist you in completing your claim forms and in obtaining the maximum benefit available to you.

Keywords: Tmd

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