TMJ (Temporomandibular Joints) and Orthodontic Treatment
One of the most important factors associated with long-term stability in an orthodontically treated case is establishing the best “jaw joint” position possible. The jaw joint is the foundation upon which we build the “bite”. It is important to coordinate the best jaw joint position with the best dental bite and to also coordinate this with the function of the muscles. If everything is in balance, the patient has the best chance of long term dental stability in addition to jaw and face comfort. A disharmony of these major components often results in TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction).
The “gold standard” in evaluating the TM joints is the Cone Beam CT (CBCT). Dr. Way utilizes this imaging device at every new patient exam. A comprehensive examination is not comprehensive unless TM joints, gum and bone support, airways, teeth, and facial bony relationships are thoroughly examined.
Below are examples of CBCT images of normal and abnormal TM joints taken at initial examinations.