Who Treats TMJ Disorders (TMD?)

The treatment of TMJ disorders is best accomplished by dentists who have special training in this field.

The American Alliance of TMD Organizations has established fundamental principles for TMD practice.

The Alliance and the websites of it’s member organizations is an excellent place to find a dentist who treats TMJ disorders. I have the great honor of being the current Chair of the TMD Alliance. http://www.tmdalliance.com/index.html

Founded in 1995 on behalf of patients’ well-being, the Alliance of TMD Organizations’ mission is to support and protect the right and freedom of clinicians to practice in the field of TMD within the scope of their care, skill, judgment, and scientific information.

The Alliance of TMD Organizations has been created to represent the broad interests of professional organizations and their member practitioners who understand the importance of effective diagnosis and treatment of cranio-oro-facial disorders.
1. The Alliance of TMD Organizations supports ethical and professional patient centered care.

2. Treatment should be based upon individual patient needs.

3. TMD and associated facial pain disorders/diseases may encompass physical, functional, cognitive, and psycho-social factors all of which may contribute to patient’s symptoms and complaints. Dental occlusion may have a significant role in TMD; as a cause, precipitating, and/or perpetuating factor. Any or all aspects may be taken into consideration when developing diagnoses and treatments accepting that TMD and associated co-morbidities including other pain disorders may be multi-factorial in nature.

4. Diagnoses and treatments should be based upon scientific information in conjunction with the skill, knowledge, and judgment of the providing clinician within the scope of their care.

5. Patient care should progress from initially minimally invasive treatment with gradations of increased intervention weighing risk versus benefit within reasonable standards of care.

6. The diagnosis and treatment of TMD should be considered an emerging science accepting that approaches for diagnoses and treatments may change based upon scientific evidence, clinical evidence. Reasonable standards of care should always be considered in the differential diagnosis of all head, neck and facial pain.

7. Efforts should be made to allow for continuity of care between multi-disciplinary health care providers.

8. Although not gender specific, TMD symptoms and associated pain disorders are gender biased and found to be reported predominately in females.

9. Since TMD and associated pain disorders are by nature gender biased affecting a significant portion of the female population, they should also be considered a women’s health issue.

10. Third party payers should not discriminate based upon gender, body part, location of symptoms, specific dysfunction, or professional degree of the licensed health care provider.

These 10 basic principles were developed by the majority of the representatives of TMD Alliance members.

Member Organizations of the American Alliance of TMD Organizations

Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences

American Academy of Craniofacial Pain

American Equilibration Society

International Association of Physiologic Aesthetics

International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics

International Association for Orthodontics

Sacro Occipital Technique Organization–USA

Tennessee CRANIO

Ira L Shapira DDS, D,ABDSM, D,AAPM, FICCMO
Chair, Alliance of TMD Organizations
Diplomat, American Academy of Pain Management
Diplomat, American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
Regent & Fellow, International College of CranioMandibular Orthopedics
Board Eligible, American Academy of CranioFacial Pain
Dental Section Editor, Sleep & Health Journal
Member, American Equilibration Society
Member, Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences
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