Highlands Ranch TMJ Dentist

TMJ Dentist Highlands Ranch, CO

Are you looking for a TMJ dentist in Highlands Ranch? Varley Family Dentistry has been identified as the go to practice for those patients suffering from this affliction. We invite you to schedule a consultation with our dental office by calling (303) 218-2248. Our appointment sequence is identified for you below. Please be aware that TMJ symptoms commonly increase in severity if left untreated

Request An Appointment

Understanding TMJ

There are two temporomandibular joints (TMJ) each occupying a position in front of the ear and at the end of the jaw bone. This is the reason behind problems with chewing. Temporomandibular joint and muscular disorders are common and can manifest in various ways.

Symptoms of TMJ

The more subtle symptoms are gingival recessions and tooth fractures which can cause sensitivity to cold.

In further progression of the disease, TMJ disorders can present as mild to severe muscular issues where muscular soreness to overt pain can be expressed in the face, and neck causing mild to severe headaches. They can also express with ear symptoms demonstrating ear fullness to ringing in the ears (Tinnitus) to declines in hearing and transient reductions in balance (vertigo). Further symptoms can be expressed as popping or clicking of the joint, restricted jaw openings featuring mild to severe joint pains. As a TMJ dentistwe find people suffer from the condition without knowing they have this affliction. As a result we recommend that if you notice any of these symptoms, to call our office at (303) 218-2248 immediately

Causes of TMJ

There are several causes of TMJ with many theories yet to be proven. Some claim that posture can be responsible for TMJ as can poor diet, a lack of sleep, and the cartilage disk found at the joint itself. As a TMJ dentist, we find that one of the most common causes of TMJ is clenching or grinding teeth at night. During times of high-stress, many people fail to have a restful nights sleep and take out their frustration by inadvertently clenching their jaw closed or grinding down their teeth while sleeping. This can manifest very early in life, with children even being impacted by teeth grinding. When this takes place, the muscles and joints are forced to remain in a tense position, leading to pain in the joints and muscles the following morning. If this happens only occasionally, you may have a minor headache and feel better the next day. If, however, this is occurring on a nightly basis, TMJ symptoms can begin to manifest and you will begin to feel less and less comfortable. You may want to pay particular attention to whether or not you have a headache or jaw pain after having a stressful day at work or being upset about something. If there is no correlation and the pain is consistent, you should seek treatment immediately by calling (303) 218-2248. Alternatively, if your discomfort it only now and then, you can bring up your concerns at your next dental examination in our office - as long as it is within the next several months.

Treatment Considerations

Dr Michael Varley has had extensive education in the treatment of occlusal (Bite) problems. In most instances these problems seed the development of problems with the Temporomandibular joint and associated structures. At Varley Family Dentistry a time honored structured phased approach is taken:

Phase I – Initial Examination

This evaluation is designed to disclose problems and to identify their origins. Commonly problems with the temporomandibular joint and associated structures can refer pains to other locations seemingly unrelated.

This critical examination carefully identifies your symptoms and also explores relationships with presentations in your medical history seeking to genuinely identify root causes. From this information, a treatment plan is cultivated. This treatment plan commonly includes the use of a pre-designed appliance; a centric relation appliance, a unique hallmark of this treatment (see below). In addition; sometimes the use of directed short term anti-inflammatory medications are applied (for the immediate resolution of inflammations), physical therapy and communications with your medical doctor or a combination of the above.

Centric Relation Appliance

This appliance has a passive custom fit to the teeth and is custom balanced with your temporomandibular joint and associated structures. This is what makes it unique. After delivery, this appliance will be adjusted at predetermined intervals consistent with the reduction of inflammation that has occurred with your joints and associated muscles. At the same time, any symptoms presenting as pains will be reduced or eliminated.

Progress Evaluation

At this point clinical improvement has been achieved. This step reviews the signs and symptoms uncovered in the Initial Examination evaluating for the complete resolution of pains documented prior to the start of treatment. In essence, it identifies the benefits that have been achieved thus far. In addition; this step identifies the strategy to be employed to cause a life long resolution to the problems that were initially presented at the Initial Examination. In addition; there may have been aesthetic goals identified earlier. These aesthetic goals would be included along with functional goals into the final treatment plan.

Phase II – Unique to Varley Family Dentistry

Phase II involves the performance of those treatments that will cause a permanent resolution to the disease presented at the Initial Examination. These treatments are selected from those results attained from the Progress Evaluation.

A non-invasive approach is designed that ranges from a mild polishing of the teeth and fillings to crowns performed on select teeth that have incurred previous fracturing. Orthodontics is an option as well in certain cases. There may be a combination of the above. The point of this step is to permanently reintroduce the now comfortable jaw joint to a position that has been proven and verified favorable in the Centric Relation Appliance step.

Definition of Dental Terminology
Arthrocentesis is a procedure that removes synovial fluid from a joint capsule using a syringe.
Bruxism is a condition that involves conscious and unconscious teeth grinding, or jaw clenching during the day and night.
Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the function) of a person’s teeth, gums and/or bite.
Dental Checkup
A dental checkup is an appointment that involves cleaning the teeth, identifying any signs of infection and removing said signs of infection at least once every six months in the office.
A dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissue that results from plaque, other infections in the mouth and poor oral hygiene.
Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry is the dentistry that focuses on maintaining oral health in order to prevent the spread of plaque, the formation of tartar and infections in the mouth.
Occlusal Appliances
Occlusal appliances are a type of plastic oral appliance that is not invasive and is removable such as, a night guard, bite guard or splint.
Temporomandibular Joint
The temporomandibular joint is the joint between the temporal bone and the lower jaw that helps with opening and closing the jaw.
TMD also stands for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder which is when the temporomandibular bone and jaw bone rub against each other improperly and cause pain.
TMJ Arthroscopy
A TMJ arthroscopy is a type of minimally invasive procedure to see the temporomandibular joint with a special camera through a small incision in the cheek.

Back to top of TMJ-Dentist