TMJ Treatment Specialist

Robert Sarkissian, DDS, MAGD

General & Cosmetic Dentist & Orthodontist located in Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, CA

Patients from across the greater Encino area come to Dr. Robert Sarkissian seeking treatment for Temporomandibular Joint disorders. The team at Sarkissian Dentistry has built a reputation for quality, compassionate care, and work hard to build lasting relationships with patients, especially in regard to dental issues as serious as TMJ.

TMJ Treatment Q&A

What is TMJ?

Temporomandibular Joint disorders are commonly referred to as TMJ, or sometimes TMD. These are a number of disorders that affect that the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge connecting the jaw to the skull’s temporal bones. This connection is what allows the jaw to move properly. When the joint is not functioning, a wide range of problems can result, including difficulty chewing food and speaking normally. Many patients seek professional treatment when they notice persistent pain in the face, jaw, neck or shoulders, or when they experience a “popping” sound while moving their jaw.

What causes TMJ?

Science has not yet been able to pinpoint the exact cause of TMJ, but researchers believe that the condition is often brought about by physical issues with the muscles in the jaw or the joint itself. It is believed that habits such as clenching one’s jaw or grinding one’s teeth at night can lead to TMJ. Arthritis in the temporomandibular joint can also lead to problems with proper joint function. TMJ might also be caused by slight movements in the cushioning tissue that lies between the ball and socket portions of the temporomandibular joint. No two patients will have the exact same set of issues when it comes to TMJ, and determining the factors that can worsen the problem is part of a comprehensive treatment approach.

What are some of the treatment options for patients who suffer from TMJ?

Patients often try at-home treatment options before seeking professional care for the condition. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can provide a measure of relief. Applying hot or cold compresses can help with issues related to pain and swelling. In addition, avoiding hard foods that require extensive chewing can help avoid discomfort. Once professional assistance becomes necessary, a customized course of treatment is designed for each patient. Prescription medications can be obtained, and a splint or other device can be used to prevent further damage to the joint. In many cases, other dental issues are exacerbating the problem, and bridges or braces can help. Trigger point injections can help some patients find relief from pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is also helpful in many cases, and harness the power of electricity to relax the muscles in the jaw and face.

Insurance & Cost Information:

A few words about cost… There is no dentistry more expensive (at any price) than one that you may not need, may not last, or leads to further treatment. That is why the core of our efforts revolve around the most careful and conservative diagnosis with treatment aimed to give you a healthy confident smile for a lifetime. We will listen to your concerns. Make conservative recommendations and offer alternatives. And help you prioritize your care to give you the best possible results. Insurance Information… We are often asked whether we accept a particular dental insurance plan. Our most comprehensive answer is that we accept and help you maximize virtually all traditional PPO dental insurance plans. In other words, as long as you do not have a dental HMO (one where you have been assigned to a particular HMO clinic) and are free to visit a dentist of your choice, you will be able to take advantage of our excellent care. We will gladly process your insurance paperwork for you. Read more…Simply bring your plan information with you or have the policy number ready so we can look up your coverage before you come in to see us. We will work with you and your dental insurance company to maximize your dental benefits with your existing type of coverage and help you prioritize your care to receive the most benefit from your plan. In addition to in-office insurance processing, we provide several financial options, including care credit, to make dental treatment affordable for our patients. Finally, many people are unaware of the fact that insurance benefits expire and renew every year whether you use them or not. In other words, allowing your insurance benefits to expire without visiting the dentist is like throwing you money away.

Aetna
Aflac
Ameritas
Assurant Health
Blue Cross
Blue Shield
Blue Shield of California
Care Credit
Careington
Cigna
Delta Dental
Guardian
Humana
MetLife
Premier Access
UniCare