TMJ Awareness Month

Did you know that November is National TMJ Awareness Month?

You may have heard of TMJ and/or TMD...

TMJ is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joint.The temporomandibular joint is a sliding hinge connecting your jawbone to your skull.

TMD is short for temporomandibular disorder. This disorder can include any symptoms of pain that affect the muscle surrounding the jaw or pain in the jaw joint.

TMD or TMJ Symptoms | Orthodontic Specialty Services - Dr. Aron Dellinger

Dr. Ketcham is the only prosthodontic specialist in Northeast Indiana who limits his practice to non-surgical treatment of TMJ disorders. Below is an example of a typical phone call we receive and it may help answer any questions you might have.


Caller: Hello, my dentist referred me to see Dr. Ketcham because they think I have TMJ.
OSS Team Member: I would be happy to schedule your exam with Dr. Ketcham. Let me explain a little of what the exam includes, then I can collect your information.
The exam with Dr. Ketcham will determine if your symptoms are related to TMD and the best treatment option available. Dr. Ketcham will review your medical history and evaluate your current symptoms. He will do a very thorough and detailed physical exam to determine if the symptoms are due to TMD and explain the best treatment for you. X-rays are not required, but if you have had any X-ray imaging within the last year then we will request copies for his review.
Caller: I don't think it is bad enough for surgery.
OSS Team Member: That is why you were referred to Dr. Ketcham. He specializes in prosthodontics and limits his practice to non-surgical TMD treatment. Most TMJ cases are non-surgical, but there are some that do require surgery. Dr. Ketcham will determine if you are a candidate for non-surgical treatment and will discuss that treatment with you at the consultation.
Caller: What all is involved in non-surgical TMD treatment?
OSS Team Member: Non-surgical TMD treatment is a combination of diagnostics, a custom orthotic appliance that we call a splint, and follow-up office visits to monitor treatment progress.
Caller: Does it work?
OSS Team Member: Yes. Many patients have experienced  noticeable improvements with this treatment and we have post-treatment reviews that we can share with you when you’re in the office.  You can be assured that Dr. Ketcham will only recommend treatment if you have met specific requirements during the exam. If he determines there may be a guarded prognosis or possibility of surgery he will discuss the reason why and recommend a different approach to treating your symptoms.
Caller: Is treatment covered by insurance?
OSS Team Member: In some cases, it is covered by insurance. We file with all insurance providers except Medicare and Medicaid and I can take your insurance information to see if you have a benefit available for TMJ services. This requires authorization or pre-certification prior to your exam and we can quote the benefit available to you through your insurance company at your exam.
Caller: Does dental insurance cover TMJ treatment? Because I don't have dental insurance.
OSS Team Member: Every policy is different, but typically when covered it is under medical insurance.  What symptoms are you having?
Caller: I’ve got clicking and it hurts to open my jaw, I have ear pain on the right side. Does this sound like TMD?
OSS Team Member: There are many symptoms that are related to TMD, those are a few of the more common. However, Dr. Ketcham will need to complete the exam to determine if you have temporomandibular joint or muscle disorder. If you would like, let me collect the rest of your information and we can schedule an exam.

Stay tuned for a future blog post that will go into more detail on TMD symptoms and the types of treatments we offer.

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