Temprormandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) has been misunderstood, poorly researched, and poorly treated by many

iStock_000045395372_XXXLargeAfter working with patients with TMD for over 30 years I have been impressed with the multifaceted aspects of this disease.  After getting into communication with thousands of people suffering from the symptoms of TMD I have concluded that,

1) No two patients present with exactly the same symptoms.

2) By the time most people get in my office to see me, they are desperate for relief.

3) These patients have already seen multiple practitioners and tried multiple modalities of treatment without positive results.

4) Most practitioners, (physicians, surgeons, dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists), have given up on finding a reliable and reproducible solution for TMD

5) Insurance companies, taking their lead from the practitioners, have also come to the point of view that nothing really works in treating TMD,

6) There is an overabundance of research papers, book chapters, books, professional journals, and meetings/conferences/conventions dedicated to discussing, writing about, sharing opinions and findings, and teaching about TMD

7)  Everyone seems to agree on only one point, ” No one seems to know how to fix TMD”.

That was my point of view a few years ago.  But as a scientist and researcher (M.S. Anatomy, PH’D student in cell biology, and Research Fellow with the NIH running my own research project for 2 years) I decided not to give up on finding a solution to the enigma of TMD.

I had already tried all the standard methods of finding a solution including reading all the books/journals/book chapters/clinics, and attending the meetings/conferences/conventions.  But I believe there is always a solution to every problem.

When a problem seems unsolvable, I have found that I was looking for the solution in the wrong place.  So I decided to quit looking for the solution in all the places everyone else was looking and decided to start my research from scratch, and do something that was quite unique. That is: To get into communication with my PATIENTS regarding the problem and gather as much basic information as possible in order to understand the problem best.  And much to my surprise, it was my patients who immediately told me about the key to the solution.

After interviewing dozens of patients with TMD, one point stood out clearly.  Patients told me if they separated their posterior teeth, (back teeth) for a long enough period of time, they found relief.  WOW!! Could it possibly be that simple!!

So, I starting making a device of my own design that would keep the posterior teeth separated without interfering with jaw movement and devised a protocol for its use. Almost magically patients I treated with the device returned in a short time saying that they were 70%, 80%, 90% 100% better after 10,20.30 years of pain.  I was factually stunned by the results.  After a couple of dozen patients, I knew the device worked, but I had no idea why it was so effective.  And as Paul Harvey used to say: “And now for the rest of the story!”.  But that story is too long to go into here at this time.  Needless to say, I did work out using research protocols the scientific facts behind the device effectiveness.  Last year I did 41 lectures to other professionals explaining these scientific findings.  And I will be happy to explain to anyone who is willing to listen how and why the device is so effective.  But the science behind the device is very simple and well documented in the literature.  It really was just a matter of connecting the dots in order to get the full explanation.

Most other people out there are looking for the solution in the wrong place.  The whole pathologic sequence starts in the joint itself and has everything to do with INFLAMMATION of the disc or cushion within the joint.  Once that fact is fully understood, the remaining data flows easily.

That is not to say there is not a lot of additional research needing to be done regarding the enigma of TMD.  There are lots of questions that remain unanswered, but how to make the symptoms go away is not one of them.  But one first has to understand where and why the problem originates.

11892096_969100833131355_8374033213629088074_nDr. Anthony P. Urbanek is a double degree Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Dr. Urbanek received his dental degree from Indiana University and his medical degree from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Urbanek is board certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and has served Williamson and Davidson counties for over 30 years.
He currently specializes in treating TMJ/TMD with his non-surgical patented TMJ splint and is also a specialist in Dental Implants and Wisdom Teeth Removal .

Learn more at www.drurbanek.com