Preparing for a TMJ Examination


When pain in your jaw joints, facial muscles, neck and shoulders becomes severe, Waco residents may need to seek out a TMJ dentist. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. It is a frequently used shorthand word for a range of disorders and injuries to the joints that control the actions of the jaw. This includes daily activities like chewing, speaking and smiling. A more correct term to use is TMD, for temporomandibular joint disorder.

Not every Waco dentistis able to treat this wide range of disorders. The set of muscles and bones involved is a complex network that can have many symptoms. Patients may have pain directly in the joint or it can radiate to his head, neck or shoulder. The joint may actually get stuck in the open or closed position. TMD can come from a traumatic injury or it can develop over time from malformations in the joint itself or from repeated grinding or clenching of the jaw.

If the pain in your neck and jaw is becoming problematic, seeking out a qualified dentist for an examination is the first step to reliving the pain. Your first examination should be detailed and thorough. Make sure you are prepared for this first step in treatment.

Be prepared to answer questions.

Your dentist should ask a number of questions to determine how to best diagnose and treat your condition. Since TMD covers such a wider range of related problems, it is important for your dentist to discover the root of the issue as closely as he can. Here are a few of the thing you should try to remember prior to your appointment.

• How long have you had the problem?
• When did the pain first occur?
• Where is the pain located?
• When is the pain at its worst or least?
• What triggers the pain?
• Have you experienced an increase in stress recently?
• Have you been involved in an accident or experienced a traumatic injury?
• Does you jaw make grinding, clicking or popping noises? Are they painful?
• Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth fully?
• Do you have frequent headaches, neck aches, shoulder/upper back pain or toothaches?

Be prepared for a physical exam.

Your dentist will also do a physical exam of your jaw and jaw joints. He may feel your joints with his fingertips as you open and close your mouth. He may measure the range of motion you have in your jaw. He may apply gentle pressure to areas on and around your jaw to identify areas of pain or inflammation.

Be prepared for tests.

Depending on the severity of your condition and the dentist that you see, you may have to schedule some testing to find an accurate diagnosis.

• X-rays. An x-ray will show the positions of the bones in relation to one another. Many dentists will do this in-office. Your dentist may make a panoramic x-ray which will show the entire jaw from side to side.
• CT scans. A CT (computer tomography) or “cat” scan will show more details of the bones than a typical x-ray.
• MRI. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan will give the most detailed view of both the bone and the soft tissues as well. This will give the dentist or oral surgeon a view of the disc within the joint and its location in relation to the bone.

Once the cause of your pain is discovered, treatment can begin and you will soon be able to find relief.

Steven T. Cutbirth DDS
1613 Lake Success Drive
Waco, TX 76710
(254) 772-5420 ‎

jaw | Flickr – Photo Sharing! : taken from – Steve A Johnson

Why Should you Should Interview Your Prospective Dentist

san antonio-dentist

People will often spend several days, weeks, or even months meeting with potential pediatricians before choosing the doctor that will see their children. Yet, these same people will often choose a dentist at the drop of a hat. This, of course, is not recommended, and in case you needed a gentle reminder of the danger that can come with choosing the wrong dentist, let us consider the headlines of 2013.

Among the many names that have been featured in newspapers around the country in 2013 is Dr. Robert Tupac. His name is not new to the media. In 1992, Tupac was considered a suspect in the death of his 36 year old wife, Marianne, whose body was found in the bathtub of their home. While the death initially appeared to be accidental or purposeful suicide, further investigation revealed that there was not enough water in the lungs to suggest the woman had drowned in the tub; she had to have been dead before being placed in the water. It was ruled a homicide and a suspected suffocation via pillow or other such prop. Tupac was having an affair at the time. He went on to marry the mistress. The lead detective in the case is still convinced that Tupac murdered Marianne and that he did it to prevent divorce claiming half of his assets. Unfortunately, sufficient evidence was never found and a murderer was never named.

Dr. Tupac is still practicing dentistry today, but his name is making headlines once again. This time it is his patients who are calling him to attention, claiming that the former murder suspect has been acting with gross negligence in his dental practice.

The first patient is a female who initially came to the dentist with missing and broken teeth. Tupac recommended that she have all of her teeth extracted then he would use implants to recreate the look and functionality of the mouth. After eight hours under oral sedation, the woman spent years and thousands of dollars returning to the dentist to fix the complications that occurred as a result of the dentist’s poor choices when placing implants. She claims that the implants were too big and poorly placed, resulting in bone deterioration. A second dentist was able to fix her teeth and sustain her oral health. One is left to wonder, when presented with the same situation, if a dentist in San Antonio, Texas, would recommend full dentures instead of the implants.

A second patient is accusing the dentist of overlooking his medical history before performing implant surgeries. The man, who is a smoker, regularly consumes alcohol, and had high blood pressure complains that his implants crumbled not long after the surgery. Tupac was unable to correct the teeth. It took a secondary dentist a full year to make the necessary alterations.

In addition, a former dental assistant has stood up in court claiming that her superior, Dr. Tupac, had her perform a host of procedures that she was not licensed to perform, including an implant extraction, which he walked her through over the phone.

While Dr. Tupac has not been convicted of any of his accused crimes, this is a reminder that not all dentists are created equally. One is encouraged to consider many options when choosing a dentist. San Antonio, Texas is home to many licensed professionals, including a highly respected dentist found at .

Daniela Dental
6415 Babcock Rd. #105
San Antonio, Texas 78249
(210) 696-8050

Poise | Flickr – Photo Sharing! : taken from – Conor Lawless