How to Choose a TMJ Dentist
As we’ve already said, TMJ can be difficult to treat. For the best results, you want to find a TMJ dentist who has the training, tools, and experience to give you relief.
Here are some steps you can take to make sure the dentist you work with will be a good match for you.
Ask for Referrals
Talk to friends and family who might have had TMJ treatment. You can start with people that you know had the condition and got relief. However, many people don’t know they have the condition until they are diagnosed. Don’t forget to ask people you know who had headaches and jaw problems but got relief.
Do an Internet Search
Next, do a search for TMJ dentists in Columbia. If you don’t know anyone who got TMJ treatment, this might be your only option, but even if you do know people who got treatment and recommended their dentists, you should do searches.
If you have recommendations, start by searching for those specific dentists. However, you should also do a general search to see what other options you have.
Check Credentials and Continuing Education
“TMJ dentist” is not an officially recognized dental specialty, so dentists are free to describe their practice that way, even if they have no training in TMJ treatment beyond the small amount offered in dental school.
So you have to check each dentist to make sure they are trained in neuromuscular dentistry. Check a dentist’s credentials with LVI or another dental education institution that instructs dentists in neuromuscular dentistry. You can check with LVI here.
Check online reviews for dentists. You should look for a dentist with a reasonable amount of reviews. Don’t just look at the numbers—read full reviews to find out what a dentist is really like. Don’t reject or select a dentist on the basis of one either horrible or stellar review. Judge based on the overall tone of the reviews, and pay more attention to characteristics you want to see in a dentist than to the number ratings.
Next, consult with one or more TMJ dentists based on your reviews. Talk to them about your symptoms, experiences, and goals for treatment. Ask to talk to previous or current patients. If a dentist had a bad review that stood out to you, talk to the dentist about it and see how he or she responds. This is an indicator of how they might respond if you have a problem.
Ideally, you should schedule consultations with at least two TMJ dentists. Many dentists offer free TMJ consultations, but you shouldn’t hesitate to pay for a consultation. It might help ensure you get an in-depth evaluation rather than simply having a brief meet-and-greet visit.
Ask Dentists about Ongoing Education
As part of the consultation, you should have the opportunity to ask a TMJ dentist questions about their experience. You can learn more about their training than just that they took some particular course. You’ll learn what they took away from their education. You might also learn about new training that isn’t on their website.
Ask Dentists How Much of Their Practice Is TMJ
Some dentists advertise as TMJ dentists but don’t do that much work with TMJ patients. Even if they’re reasonably credentialed in TMJ treatment, they might not have much experience treating the condition. A dentist that regularly treats TMJ will learn lessons from their experience that can be hard or even impossible to learn in a course.
Choose a TMJ Dentist That Makes You Feel Confident
Based on your consultations, select the TMJ dentist that you think will give you the highest quality care for your symptoms. Factor in training, experience, technology, reviews, and everything you’ve learned about the dentist. Also, take into account how you feel about working with a dentist. You will have to talk to them honestly about your symptoms and results, so don’t choose to work with a dentist you can’t open up to.
If none of the dentists give you confidence, consider starting your search over. If more than one dentist seems acceptable, use location and cost to help you decide on the best TMJ dentist for you.