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Bracebridge, ON P1L 2B8
If you're having problems with TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction), your diagnosis doesn't have to be guesswork. Your dentist or oral surgeon can see joint structures clearly and start your treatment with confidence.
You or someone you know may have had arthroscopic surgery to fix a knee, shoulder or hip injury, especially if the injury was sports related. But more and more dentists and are using this amazing tool for jaw disorders.
The arthroscope is a small microscope that is inserted into the jaw joint to monitor the surgery. We can watch closely as intrusive tissues -- that limit jaw mobility and impinge on nerves -- are cleared away.
Since the arthroscope is less than 2 millimeters, there's no need for sutures and you won't experience any scarring.
This procedure is done under general anesthesia and requires a short hospital stay. You may also need therapy to limber jaw movement. The good news is that patients who have arthroscopic jaw surgery experience almost immediate relief from their TMJ symptoms and a rapid recovery.
If you've fractured your lower jaw, it will have occurred in one of three places: where the lower jaw joins the upper jaw and facial bones; near the angle of the jaw; or in a vertical line between the teeth.
When the opposing segments of jaw are brought close enough together, bones heal quickly. New bone is actually generated between the two segments and the bond can be stronger than before the trauma.
We "wire" the jaws for the rest of your recovery. Also, the splinting of the teeth helps keep the jaws properly opposed. Healing takes about six weeks, during which time the wire remains in place. You'll be limited to a liquid diet and perhaps less animated conversation.
It's a good time to read that big novel and relax; let nature take its course.