Chronic Pain, TMJ and Bite Problems After Fall and Being Wired Shut

Kelsey’s Question:

Around December of 2012, I had a face-first fall into a hardwood floor with all my weight (210 lbs) going directly onto my jaw. I was wired shut for 10 weeks, but my bite/occlusion was off the entire time. I now (and have since the injury) suffered with mal-occlusion. I’ve tried splints, mouthpieces, and a lot of other treatments. But nothing seems to fix my occlusion. I have noticed for the first time my head is starting to feel more balanced, but I still live with pain daily. Especially in my teeth, but also in my jaw. Is it possible that orthodontics alone could fix my bite? I seem to have a slightly larger gap on the right side than the left, but am not sure if it’s a good idea to engage in orthodontics if there’s some other underlying problem with my TMJ/Atlas/Upper cervical spine. I’ve been to dozens of people, spent thousands of dollars and have seen no results whatsoever. If this sounds like something that one of your clinics could cure, please let me know. I don’t have insurance, but at this point am willing to agree to any sort of payment plan just to get out of this agony, because I can honestly say it has affected my life is many negative ways over the last few years since the injury. Thanks so much.

Dr Shapira Response:
Dear Kelsey,
I frequently hear stories like yours and see long distance patients. I understand how frustrating a journey you are on. I concentrate on relief of pain and restoration of function. Ideally, you should focus on eliminating pain and restoring your quality of life prior to doing any orthodontic treatment.

Please visit my website, for a better idea of what I do for patients. You can also visit my youtube channel to hear patient testimonials.

I cannot promise a miracle cure but focus on rapidly improving your quality of life. Please e-mail me if you want additional information. If you desire to come to the Chicago area for treatment I can have someone in my office contact you.

Chair, Alliance of TMD Organizations

Kelsey Question:
Hello there,
Thanks so much for responding. What sort of treatment do you perform? Is it in conjunction with orthodontics? Do you do MRIs/Xrays? About what would it cost money-wise if I agreed to a treatment plan? I just want a stable bite like I had before my accident.
Do you offer payment plans by the month? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get a clear understanding of the methodology.


Dr Shapira Response:

Initial treatment is directed toward your symptoms. I utilize neuromuscular dentistry to create a diagnostic orthotic, i utilize ULF-TENS, SPG Blocks, Trigger Point injections, spray and stretch and postural corrections. I rarely utilize MRI unless I anticipate surgical intervention. I sometimes get cone beam CT if you do not already have one.

I either refer orthodontics out when necessary or utilize the DNA Appliance and Epigenetic Orthodontics. My initial treatment is direct to relief of symptoms and return to a good quality of life. I strongly advise waiting for procedures like orthodontics until all or most symptoms are resolved.

I usually find I can eliminate a great deal of pain during the consultation.

What treatments I would recomend for you is not something I know until I have seen you.

A stable bite can be achieved with orthodontics, Crown and Bridge, long term appliances or even , on some occasions coronoplasty. First you must eliminate underlying pathology and allow healing.

Each and every patient is unique. What I cannot do is erase the three years of suffering you have already endured, my goal is to improve your future. Chronic pain is very different than acute pain and brain changes called plasticity occur over time.

If you decide to see me my office team can go over costs and arrangements.

Dr Shapira