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.
"The whole group here is professional and knowledgeable. Special thanks to Marie. She was so friendly and helpful."- B.G. / Google / Apr 18, 2022
"I habe been a patient at Contemporary Dental Arts for 13 yrs. I love coming here for all my dental needs: friendly, exceedingly professional care, & clean. Julie at the front desk is friendly & accommodating. Mary the Dental Hygenist is exceptionally thorough and professional— you really feel her care and her 40+ yrs of expertise shines through in her cleanings. And she’s great to be with. Dr Shannard genuinely cares about her patients, is incredibly professional, and her expertise is the reason I keep returning."- J. / Google / Mar 24, 2022
"Dr Shanard and her team are wonderful people. Julie is an amazing helper on the front counter. Everyone is so organized and the facility is very clean. I only use contemporary dental arts for my dental and oral care needs."- R.Q. / Google / Mar 23, 2022
"This is a wonderful dental practice, led by Dr. Lauren Shannard. Dr. Shannard is a perfectionist both in techniques and in ability to match color and shape on crowns and repairs. The facility is up-to-date and well furnished. The team, including dental assistant Marie and hygienists, are all excellent. I highly recommend this practice."- B.T. / Google / Dec 14, 2021
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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.