Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can cause immense pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, and neck, affecting one's ability to perform daily activities such as eating and speaking. However, thanks to advancements in medical technology, TMJ disorders can be effectively treated using minimally invasive procedures like an arthroscopy in Dallas. By performing this surgery, Dr. Sanovich aims to improve your regular functions like talking and chewing and provide you with long-term pain relief.
TMJ disorders refer to a range of conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects the jaw bone to the skull. TMJ treatments range from less invasive options like Botox injections to the masseter muscle, to total joint replacement. Dr. Randy Sanovich specializes in a less invasive type of procedure called TMJ arthroscopy. This procedure is recommended when other treatments like medications, physical therapy, and splints haven't successfully relieved the symptoms of TMJ disorder. Arthroscopic surgery is specifically used to address structural issues in the TMJ, such as a displaced disc.
Arthroscopy procedures use small incisions and a specialized camera to diagnose and treat TMJ disorders. The procedure typically lasts around 40 minutes and involves Dr. Sanovich carefully examining and taking images of the interior of the joint. When necessary, this technique offers several advantages over traditional total-joint surgery, including reduced scarring, minimal pain, faster recovery times, and improved long-term outcomes. Studies have examined patients 10 years after their arthroscopy and the majority of patients were still in significantly less pain and had improved jaw movement even after so many years.
The recovery process after an arthroscopy procedure for TMJ disorders can vary depending on the individual, the severity of the condition, and the specifics of the surgery. Patients can usually get back to some of their daily routines within a few days after surgery as recovery times are shorter. However, there are a few general guidelines that can help patients navigate their journey towards a full recovery.
Immediately after the surgery, it is common for patients to experience some swelling and discomfort in the jaw area. Swelling is completely normal and may last for about 5-7 days. To minimize the swelling, make sure to keep your head elevated as much as possible. During the first 72 hours, applying ice to the affected joint for 20 minutes at a time can provide some relief and reduce swelling. After this initial period, if you're still experiencing discomfort, you can try using a warm compress like a heating pad or a damp cloth warmed in the microwave. These should help soothe your jaw muscles and temples whenever you feel the need for some comfort and relief.
After undergoing surgery, it's crucial to be mindful of your jaw movements to ensure proper healing. This means steering clear of foods that demand vigorous chewing or wide mouth opening to minimize strain on your jaw joint. In the first few days after surgery, patients are advised to eat soft foods such as soup, mashed potatoes, and smoothies. It is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene during this time, including regular brushing and gentle rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash to prevent infections.
To provide extra support and alignment, Dr. Sanovich might suggest using a bite splint or nightguard while you sleep or wearing it to alleviate stress. Dr. Sanovich will provide you with the necessary guidance on post-operative physical therapy treatments. Healing times can vary, but most patients can expect significant improvement within a few weeks to a few months. It is crucial to have realistic expectations and understand that complete recovery may take time.
TMJ arthroscopy is a safe and effective surgical procedure. However, as with any surgery, there are risks associated with a TMJ arthroscopy procedure. It is important to discuss these risks with Dr. Sanovich at your consultation. If an arthroscopy procedure is not enough to address your concerns or if your joint has deteriorated, more invasive options such as TMJ replacement surgery may be necessary. Dr. Randy Sanovich is a board-certified surgeon skilled at complex TMJ procedures and facial reconstruction surgery and will be able to recommend the best treatment options for you.
Dr. Sanovich is dedicated to his patients and his years of experience have helped him develop a comprehensive approach to arthroscopy TMJ recovery that is designed to optimize results and promote long-term healing. The experienced team at Dallas Surgical Arts is here to guide you through your surgical journey, Our comfortable surgical suites and state-of-the-art technology set Dallas Surgical Arts apart as a premier choice for TMJ treatment in Dallas. Dr. Sanovich is here to help you achieve long-lasting relief from TMJ pain and improve your quality of life. Contact his office today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a pain-free life.
Wondering if you are a candidate? Schedule a consultation with board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Randy Sanovich and call 972-776-4888 today!