TMJ Specialist

Ramin Mahallati, DDS -  - Prosthodontist

Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry

Ramin Mahallati, DDS

Prosthodontist & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Beverly Hills, CA

Do you suffer from frequent headaches? Do you often have sore jaw muscles, or do your teeth hurt when you chew? More people suffer from temporomandibular disorders (TMD) than they realize. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts as a sliding hinge, connecting the jawbone to the skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain in the jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement. Ramin Mahallati, DDS, at the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry in Beverly Hills, California, provides expert care for TMJ to relieve your discomfort. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online.

TMJ Q & A

What causes TMJ?

The exact cause of your TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. The pain may be due to a combination of problems, such as arthritis or a jaw injury. Some people who have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth. However, many people habitually clench their teeth and never develop TMJ symptoms.

How is TMJ/TMD treated?

In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders can be alleviated with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments.

A prosthodontist is a dental specialist, trained to diagnose the cause of jaw pain as well as provide a course of treatment to lessen your discomfort. Depending on your history and symptoms, your specialist at the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry may recommend a stabilization splint, commonly known as an occlusal guard, to treat your pain.

The custom-made plastic stabilizing device fits over the upper or lower teeth and is used to control the interaction between the upper and lower jaw by maintaining the joint in a healthy position. A stabilization splint is the most common, nonintrusive treatment for TMJ disorders, including facial pain.

Temporomandibular joint pain is considered a medical condition. The good news is that sometimes TMJ appliances are covered by your medical insurance coverage under the diagnosis description of durable medical equipment (DME). Your specialist at the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry recommends you call your medical insurance provider and ask if you have coverage in your individual medical plan.

How is my occlusal guard made?

After it’s determined that you would benefit from the occlusal guard, the first step is making an impression of your mouth. Once the impressions are made, they are sent to the in-house dental lab, where stone casts of your mouth are fabricated. They are then digitized, and your occlusal guard is designed through a computer-aided design (CAD) process.

After the design has been perfected and checked by Dr. Mahallati, the occlusal guard or splint is fabricated through a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) process. The final design is then rechecked on the original dental casts to verify an accurate fit.

At the time of delivery of your splint, final touch-up adjustments may be made to ensure a perfect fit and comfort. Use of digital technology enables the team to deliver results that are the most accurate and precise.

What material is used to make an occlusal guard?

Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is the short answer. PMMA is the same material used in the fabrication of retainers and dentures, as well as many other dental prostheses.

Because we use a CAD/CAM process, the material blanks are cured through an industrial process rather than curing in the lab. This ensures a much higher rate of cure of the material, resulting in a much longer lasting splint.

When should I wear my occlusal guard?

You should wear your splint at night while you’re sleeping. However, you may find that wearing your occlusal guard during the day also tames your symptoms.

What happens to the fit of my guard if I have dental work?

In most cases, your occlusal guard can be modified and readjusted. In some cases, depending on the extent of the work, you may need a new guard.

TMJ can affect your quality of life, but the team at the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry offers solutions to relieve your discomfort. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online.