The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the place where your jaw attaches to your skull to enable you to open and close your jaw smoothly. Sometimes the joint is damaged or injured, leading to a debilitating condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction (TMD). If you're having pain or hearing sounds whenever you open your jaw, then schedule an appointment with dentist Dr. Lauren Shanard to see if you have TMD. At her office, Contemporary Dental Arts in Williston, VT, Dr. Shanard utilizes innovative tools to diagnose and care for your TMD to relieve painful symptoms. Your treatment will be dependent on the cause of your TMD and your particular condition, but a few choices are oral appliances (night or mouth guards), bite adjustment, dental restorations, and much more.
"I love going to Contemporary Dental. They treat you like a family member and they make sure you have the best care for your visit."- D.P. / Google / Jun 07, 2019
"Love this practice. Dr. Shannard and staff are wonderful."- E.F. / Google / Apr 30, 2019
"Karen did a great job on my teeth! She’s very thorough, answers any questions you have, and she’s always fun to talk with."- L.J. / Google / Mar 29, 2019
"Coming from CT, I had a beautiful smile created from a great dentist in New Haven several years ago. I moved to New Hampshire and looked for the best to take over care. It just so happened that my New Haven dr traveled from CT to VT specifically to have HER OWN smile created by Dr Shanard and highly recommended Dr Shanard. She was absolutely right. Dr Shanard is very meticulous in perfecting your look. She is extremely patient and caring. She and her excellent staff take the time to explain thoroughly procedures, and expectations. I can’t say enough about Contemporary Dental Arts"- L.G. / Google / Mar 27, 2019
"Dr. Shanard and the staff are amazing!"- R.M. / Google / Mar 20, 2019
TMD may be caused by an injury to the jaw, years of teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching, or misalignment of the teeth (dental malocclusion). Other conditions that may cause TMD include arthritis or a tumor in the TMJ. Sometimes the cause of TMD is unclear, but if you're having symptoms, Dr. Shanard can diagnose and care for your TMJ. Some of the most typical signs of TMD are tenderness or pain at the temporomandibular joint, involuntary contractions in your face muscles, feeling like your jaw is rigid or stuck, and frequent headaches that begin in front of your ears. Another sign is hearing clicking, cracking, or popping when you move your jaw.
What To Expect
To diagnose TMD, Dr. Shanard will listen carefully to understand your concerns prior to a physical exam. Throughout the examination, she will evaluate how your jaw moves and look for signs of misalignment, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching. She will also palpate the jaw and lower face to check for any swelling and tenderness. Dr. Shanard might want to have digital images of your lower head along with an analysis of your bite to search for underlying factors that may determine your therapy approach. Depending on the examination, she will discuss your treatment choices that may incorporate a mouth guard, teeth straightening, or dental restorations (crowns, bridges, and dentures).
Along with treatments to solve the root cause of your TMD, Dr. Shanard may suggest different ways to relieve pain and other problems on your own. This may include eating softer foods, not biting your nails or chewing gum, applying heat to your jaw, and relaxation methods. Dr. Shanard may also show you exercises to strengthen your jaws or prescribe medication to relax your jaw muscles (and to relieve pain, nervousness, or even inflammation).
You should continue to go to follow-up appointments so Dr. Shanard can assess the results from your TMJ treatment. If your therapy isn't working as it should, she might consider another strategy. As soon as your TMD is treated, you should continue to schedule yearly dental examinations at Contemporary Dental Arts to keep your mouth healthy.
Dental insurance policies for diagnosing TMJ pain and TMD treatments will change, so we'll get in touch with your provider to figure out your personal expenses. Whether you do or don't have dental insurance, Dr. Shanard will discuss price quotes when explaining treatment choices. To help make all remedies cheap, Contemporary Dental Arts takes many payment options and we will be able to help you find medical financing.
Advanced TMD Treatments
Pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can make it difficult to eat, talk, and enjoy your life. Since there are lots of potential causes, signs, and remedies to treat temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), make an appointment with Dr. Shanard at her practice in Williston, VT. She will perform a detailed exam prior to making a diagnosis and talking about treatment choices. Get in touch with our staff at Contemporary Dental Arts to learn more and schedule your appointment.