Originally Posted on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/TMJ/comments/3jkv0u/what_to_look_for_in_a_tmj_dentist/
What to look for in a TMJ Dentist (self.TMJ)
submitted 1 day ago * by TMJ-Doc

When looking for a TMJ dentist you should understand that there are numerous philosophies about occlusion. The primary concern is relief of symptoms not philosophy.
All TMJ Doctors should thoroughly understand Myofascial Pain Treatment including Spray and Stretch techniques and Trigger Point Injections. The most common cause of pain is myofascial pain.
It is essential that they understand the Trigeminal Nervous system including the Trigemino-vacular System and the Trigemino-Cervical- Complex. They should also understand the autonomic nervous system and be familiar with multiple methods to do Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks. This is like a reset button for the trigeminal and autonomic nervous system.
They should have an extensive consultation before beginning treatment and be able to clearly explain where the pain is originating.
The should have extensive education in treating patients on a clinical basis. Some academicians are far more interested in their studies then individual patients welfare.
They should not be pushing surgery, orthodontics or restorative dentistry prior to alleviations of symptoms.
They should belong to one or more groups belonging to the Alliance of TMD Organizations. www.tmdalliance.org. I am currently the Chair of The TMD Alliance which represents the top TMJ doctors who utilize a variety of different philosophies but always put patient care and welfare in primary position.
Personally, I am first primarily a Neuromuscular Dentist but I also belong and attend meetings of the American Academy of Cranio-Facial Pain, The American Equilibration Society, The American Academy of Pain Management, The American Academy of Physiological esthetics and ICCMO, The International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics. I am not a member of SOTO but have attended their meeting and lectured and presented papers to that group. I am attending the first congress of the Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences, the newest member of the TMD Alliance. There are member groups I do not belong to in the Alliance but I do not want to diminish their place in TMJ Treatment, but unfortunately I personally have not yet made it to their meetings.
And in special deference to MAHANGTTIA2 they should understand the psychological implications of chronic pain and the role stress plays in the development and continuance of TMJ Disorders.
Abraham Maslow did a hierarchy of needs of which the lowest level was physiologic needs ie. food and water, shelter and freedom from pain.
Freedom from pain is a basic human physiologic need!

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