Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can cause chronic pain and limit the functionality of the jaw, impacting daily life. In severe cases where conservative treatments have proven ineffective, TMJ replacement surgery may be recommended. This advanced procedure aims to replace the damaged or dysfunctional TMJ joint with an artificial implant, providing long-lasting relief and restoring jaw function. Dr. Randy Sanovich, board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Dallas Surgical Arts, specializes in TMJ replacement surgery, offering patients a comprehensive approach to managing TMJ disorders. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of TMJ replacement, exploring the procedure, its benefits, and what patients can expect from this life-changing surgical option.
TMJ replacement surgery is a complex procedure that involves the replacement of the damaged or dysfunctional temporomandibular joint with an artificial implant. The surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia in the hospital and requires the expertise of a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon like Dr. Sanovich. TMJ replacement surgery is typically only recommended for individuals who have exhausted conservative treatments, such as medication, physical therapy, Botox injections, and dental splints, without achieving significant relief from pain. It is essential to undergo a thorough evaluation by Dr. Sanovich to determine if TMJ replacement surgery is the right choice for you.
The TMJ replacement procedure involves several key steps. First, Dr. Sanovich will make a discreet incision in the natural crease in front of the ear, allowing access to the TMJ joint and minimizing post-op scarring. The damaged or dysfunctional joint is then carefully removed, making way for the artificial implant. The implant has been virtually planned and is customized to fit the patient's unique jaw structure, ensuring optimal functionality and a natural feel. Once the implant is securely in place, the incision is closed with sutures, and the healing process begins.
Benefits of TMJ Replacement Surgery
Pain Relief: One of the primary benefits patients are seeking from TMJ replacement surgery is the relief from chronic pain and the restoration of jaw function. Additionally, TMJ replacement surgery can help alleviate associated symptoms such as debilitating jaw clicking or locking.
Improved Function: By replacing the damaged joint with an artificial implant, patients can experience significant improvements in their ability to chew, speak, and open and close their mouths comfortably. TMJ replacement surgery restores proper jaw function, enabling patients to regain their ability to perform basic daily activities without limitations.
Enhanced Quality of Life: Chronic TMJ pain can significantly impact a person's quality of life, leading to difficulties in social interactions, sleep disturbances, and decreased productivity. By replacing the damaged joint, this surgery allows patients to restore comfort in their daily lives. TMJ replacement surgery offers long-term relief and improves the overall well-being of our patients.
Customized Treatment: TMJ replacement surgery can be tailored to each patient's specific needs and condition. The implant is carefully selected and positioned to provide optimal fit and function, taking into account the individual's anatomy and unique requirements.
Long-lasting Results: TMJ replacement implants are designed to be durable and long-lasting, offering patients sustained relief from TMJ symptoms. The advanced materials and technology used in the implants ensure longevity, allowing individuals to enjoy the benefits of the procedure for many years. Many of our patients opt to undergo a quick metal allergy test to ensure proper integration of the artificial joints to their individual body.
Recovery and Results
After TMJ replacement surgery, patients should expect a period of recovery to allow the jaw to heal properly. This may include a liquid or soft food diet for a certain period, as advised by Dr. Randy Sanovich. During the recovery phase, physical therapy and jaw exercises will be recommended to help restore jaw mobility, and function, and strengthen the surrounding muscles. Follow-up appointments at Dallas Surgical Arts with Dr. Sanovich will be scheduled to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments to optimize the outcome.
Patients can expect a gradual improvement in jaw function and a reduction in pain and discomfort over time. The full benefits of TMJ replacement surgery may take several months to be fully evident, as the jaw adjusts to the new implant. However, for many individuals, the procedure offers a life-changing transformation, allowing them to return to a pain-free and functional lifestyle very quickly.
TMJ replacement surgery is a highly effective treatment option for individuals with severe TMJ disorders. If you are experiencing chronic TMJ pain or limitations in jaw movement, consulting with Dr. Sanovich and the experienced professionals at Dallas Surgical Arts can help determine if TMJ replacement surgery is the right solution for you. Take the first step towards reclaiming your comfort and functionality by exploring this advanced treatment option and regaining control over your TMJ disorder.
Call us today at (972) 776-4888 to schedule your consultation and to learn more!