I can’t find a TMJ Specialist on my insurance list.

I think I have TMJ. I’ve been having headaches as well as pain in my jaw.  Looking online, TMJ seems the most likely culprit.  I want to get it treated, but I can’t seem to find a TMJ Specialist listed on my insurance.  What options do I have?

Sarah T. – Ohio

Sarah,

The reason you can’t find a listed TMJ Specialist is because there isn’t a recognized specialty in TMJ. Instead, you’ll go to a general dentist who has training in treating TMJ cases. For instance, Dr. Burba went to the Spear Institute and Dawson Academy to train in TMJ.

Based on what you’ve described, it does sound like you are suffering from the symptoms of TMJ. You’ll want to get that treated. Make sure your dentist starts with the most conservative treatment first, which will help keep costs down.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Can’t chew well with dentures

I’m having a problem with my new dentures.  They fit well, but I just can’t chew very well. My dentist says I’ll get used to it, but I’m having a hard time believing that.  Is there anything that can be done to improve my chewing?

Cynthia J. – Arizona

Cynthia,

The best thing you can do for your chewing efficiency is to get dental implants, but they are pretty pricey. I’m assuming your dentist has already told you about those and you’ve opted for the dentures.  That’s OK, but even the best fitting dentures lower your chewing efficiency by 50%.  That’s what you’re experiencing.  Though you may get used to it, but it won’t get better with time.

There is another option– snap on dentures.  They aren’t as pricey as dental implants.  They also won’t have all the same advantages, but they will improve your chewing efficiency.

It could also be a way for you to temporarily use dentures while you save up for the more ideal treatment, but doesn’t have to be.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.