You Deserve a Healthier, Happier Mouth and Jaw
Dr. Cappy Sinclair provides comprehensive treatment options for patients suffering from TMJ pain and Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD). The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects the upper and lower jaw. The joint is responsible for the opening and closing of the mouth. TMJ disorder is the term that defines a wide variety of potential issues affecting the jaw joint, muscles in the face, neck, and surrounding nerves.
If you suffer from frequent headaches, facial pain, worn teeth or difficulty chewing, you may have a TMJ disorder. Often the result of an imbalance in the bite, TMJ can result in painful symptoms and compromise overall oral health.
The symptoms of TMJ can be difficult to diagnose as they can vary from person to person and may not always be present. In some cases, the symptoms are severe enough to cause problems with chewing and swallowing food, or speaking. Common TMJ symptoms of a TMJ disorder can include:
- Frequent headaches or migraine headaches
- Shoulder, neck, facial, or jaw pain
- Clicking or popping when opening or closing jaw
- Locked jaw or limited mobility in the jaw joint
- Teeth clenching, teeth grinding, often accompanied by worn, chipped or broken teeth
- Pain around the ears or earaches
- Teeth grinding
TMJ Pain Management in Norfolk, VA
TMJ pain is a chronic condition that can be difficult to manage. It can cause sleep problems, jaw pain, and headaches. To diagnose this issue, Dr. Sinclair will thoroughly evaluate your dental health at his Virginia Beach, VA dental office. This will include examining you jaw joints and natural bite pattern. Then, he will recommend a TMJ treatment plan to address the imbalance, tooth damage, or painful symptoms. Treatments may include:
- Occlusal equilibration, or making changes to the fit of the bite by reshaping and/or removing tooth structure.
- Splint therapy
- A TMJ mouthguard
- Orthodontics or dental appliances
Treatment success is dependent on the severity of your symptoms or tooth damage. A combination of the above treatment options may be necessary to restore overall dental health and a comfortable, functional smile.
Digital Bite Analysis is a Pain-free Experience
One of the most important tools we use in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ Disorders is the T-Scan® Occlusal Analysis system, a digital bite analysis tool. Dr. Sinclair is among a handful of dentists near the Norfolk, VA area using this type of digital technology.
T-Scan is 3D imaging software for dental professionals. It can create 3D images of a patients’ teeth and oral structures. T-Scan® Occlusal Analysis is a tool that helps us identify tooth wear, tooth decay, and other dental issues early on. Its 3D imaging capabilities allow our dentists to detect problems in the mouth that they would not otherwise be able to see.
The T-Scan tool also measures both the force and timing of tooth contact. This allows Dr. Sinclair to get a clear picture of your bite in just seconds! You simply bite down on a wafer-thin sensor and the digital software records the timing and force of the bite. The information is instantly sent to a computer so Dr. Sinclair can use the data to diagnose bite problems and TMJ disorders.
Traditional methods for analyzing a patient’s bite were highly ineffective. Either the dentist relied on a visual assessment or used articulating paper to mark the location of tooth contacts. Neither of these methods was suitable for determining the order in which teeth make contact or their relative strength. Our modern dental office makes sure that you get the proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations the first time.