TMJ Surgery in Fort Atkinson, WI

Expert treatment for long-lasting pain relief.

How Can TMJ Surgery Help?

Woman in a dentist's chair

Surgery can be effective at treating some types of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD). However, surgery is only effective in limited cases, often has a low success rate, and comes with risks. That’s why we try to avoid surgery whenever possible, which means treating TMJ early to avoid the progression of the disease.

At Bite Align, we use non-surgical means to treat TMJ. However, Dr. Jennifer StaffordThis link leads to Doctor’s page uses expert diagnosis to help people find the appropriate treatment for their TMJ.

Why You Should Consider TMJ Surgery a Last Resort

TMJ is a complex condition, often with multiple contributing factors. Surgery tends to focus on just one of these factors, typically the jaw joint itself. However, most people with TMJ symptoms are actually suffering because of muscle problems. If we can treat the muscle problems without surgery and prevent them from causing joint problems, we can get better results with less risk. 

Therefore, it’s best to consider other treatment options before looking at TMJ surgery.

Types of TMJ Surgery

Woman in a dentist's chair

Because TMJ surgery hasn’t had the best success rate, many new surgical approaches have been developed and explored. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Arthrocentesis

    This is the least invasive type of TMJ surgery and is basically a type of more involved joint injection. In this procedure, a surgeon will inject saline solution into the joint. The goal is to break up scar tissue in the joint and add more fluid to the joint. This helps lubricate the joint. Injection solutions might include medications. 

    The goal is to improve mobility and reduce pain. This surgery has minimal recovery time and the fewest risks.

  • Arthroscopy

    This is a laparoscopic procedure. Small insertions let a doctor slide a scope in to view the joint and tiny tools to remove scar tissue and stabilize or reposition the cushioning disc in the joint. 

    This type of procedure is usually recommended if your jaw tends to lock closed. You will likely use an oral applianceThis link leads to Oral Appliance page and get physical therapy as part of your recovery from this procedure. Full recovery will take weeks. The success rate is about 84%.

  • Arthroplasty

    Arthroplasty is an open surgery used to accomplish some of the same goals as the above procedures. However, open surgery tends to be recommended if you have bone structures that need to be reshaped or if the disc needs to be removed or replaced. 

    It’s hard to find good recent statistics on the success rate of this procedure, but it seems to be less than for arthroscopy.

  • Joint Replacement

    In total joint replacement, your jaw joint is replaced with a synthetic joint. This might be a primary surgery done in response to your TMJ, but sometimes it’s necessary after previous failed surgeries.

    This procedure has a low success rate and a high rate of complications, so it’s used only after previous treatments have proven ineffective or inadequate in your case.

Consider Non-Surgical TMJ Treatment in Fort Atkinson

Although TMJ surgery might be necessary in some cases, we try to avoid it whenever possible. Check out our non-surgical TMJ treatments today.

Decorative icon of three stars
Our doctors smiling.

Take control of your oral health for a lifetime of smiles.

"TMJ Specialist" is not officially recognized by the American Dental Association. Dr. Stafford is a general dentist with many years of training in TMJ and neuromuscular dentistry, even though the specialty is not officially recognized. However, Wisconsin requires the following statement. "Cosmetic dentistry, TMJ, Neuromuscular dentistry, and Aesthetic dentistry are specialty areas not recognized by the ADA that requires no specific educational training to advertise this service".