Arthrocentesis Explained - TMJ Specialist in Dallas

Dr. Randy Sanovich at Dallas Surgical Arts - TMJ Specialist in Dallas

If you are experiencing TMJ pain, Dr. Sanovich can help you feel better and relieve pain by performing an arthrocentesis.

When the articular disc in your temporomandibular joint has shifted from proper placement, a TMJ arthrocentesis can help relieve pain and swelling that cause discomfort. The purpose of this minimally-invasive procedure is to flush sterile fluid into the joint to allow Dr. Sanovich to adjust your disc back into its normal position.

What is Arthrocentesis?

You may have heard of an arthrocentesis being performed on other joints in the body, such as the knee, but in oral and maxillofacial surgery, an arthrocentesis is performed on the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. It involves the placement of two hypodermic needles into the joint that flush the area with a sterile solution. The procedure is by Dr. Sanovich in our office surgical suites under IV sedation. Patients are often recommended to schedule this treatment as a minimally-invasive first step to help diagnose any more complex TMJ conditions.

Preparing for Arthrocentesis

Discuss any allergies to medications, previous surgeries, infections, or dental work with Dr. Sanovich. The arthrocentesis is performed under sedation, so we will ask that you not eat or drink anything several hours before the procedure. For your safety, you will need to have an escort drive you home after the procedure.

Recovery from Arthrocentesis

After an arthrocentesis, you may notice jaw swelling or tenderness, numbness, or stiffness in the jaw. It is normal to experience these symptoms after an arthrocentesis procedure and Dr. Randy Sanovich will prescribe medications to reduce pain and swelling. For the first 24 hours after the procedure, Dr. Sanovich will ask that you follow a no-chew diet, not smoke, and avoid strenuous activity. Following these post-procedure instructions will allow your TMJ to heal properly and for you to return to normal eating habits without discomfort or pain. Most patients can return to work within a few days after the procedure.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your jaw joint, contact board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Sanovich today at (972) 914-3660!

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