TMJ/TMD Treatment

I am 99% sure I have TMJ. My insurance covers evaluation and treatment from an oral surgeon, but I don't have dental. I saw a dentist who says the whole problem might be resolved by replacing two crowns (molars) on the side of my mouth where the sensitivity is, possibly making them high to change my bite.. His charge would be over $5000 and since I need other work as well, I am looking elsewhere. He did not do TMJ Xrays that I am aware of.

My question is whether I should go ahead and get the crowns replaced first or see an oral surgeon for evaluation/XRay first. (Not surgery) or find a less expensive dentist and get that work done first. I have other options to start as well 1) I see a massage therapist anyway and she did a jaw massage that resolved the issue for now (even changed my bite) My insurance would also cover Physical therapy. And I know there are self care options, like compresses and exercises, even an OTC bite guard. Any suggestions about where to start?

Reply:

Without more details I cant give specific advice but generally speaking a $5000 fee for replacing 2 crowns seems high and the assumption that replacing 2 crowns would solve your TMJ problem sounds iffy.

TMJ problems tend to be complicated and I am not a TMJ expert by any means but if it continues to feel good after massage or physical therapy and there is no other reason for having the 2 crowns replaced I’d be hesitant to proceed with that treatment.
If it begins to bother you again a second opinion might be a good idea.

Personally I prefer the least invasive treatment possible. I've known patients who have gotten complete and permanent TMJ pain relief through massage/physical therapy.

Re your other dental needs, teeth with decay or infection, should be treated first. Your dentist should prioritize treatment according to your most urgent needs.
~Shelly

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