An outcome of the coronavirus pandemic is orofacial pain specialists are conducting TMJ consultations online. The new era has begun…
As a dentist whose focus is directed toward treating orofacial pain and TMJ/TMD problems, I have seen first-hand the impact of life’s worries and challenges on people of all ages.
In normal times people seek my services because their jaw muscles are sore, tired, and aching. Any number of issues, from financial worries, relationship trouble, medical stress, family problems, poor sleep, or workplace tension, can upset the brain leading to muscle tightness and, ultimately, the onset of symptoms.
When your brain is upset, what would normally be perceived as tolerable pain can become so severe that it affects your life.
The Connection Between The Upset Brain & TMJ
A very common consequence of an upset brain is tooth and clenching and/ or bracing of the jaw muscles even without tooth contact. These activities can occur while you sleep, during the day, or both, overworking the jaw muscles and setting the stage for disruptive jaw or face pain, persistent toothaches, cracking/popping in the jaw joints, and the potential onset of TMJ problems (you can read more about TMJ here).
The current pandemic is affecting everyone. Even those who felt we had our lives under control before the crisis now face a threat we have few skills to confront. This stress can lead to an upset brain.
Therefore, it’s no mystery why patients currently under care, past patients, and those who never sought my care before are reaching out – desperate for relief.
TMJ Consultations Online Now
During the COVID pandemic, we were not to go about business as usual. But we have been able to address the pain relief needs of patients with online TMJ consultations. For a number of years, these telehealth options have been available, but it took a crisis like the pandemic to make orofacial and TMD pain practitioners all over the world realize how invaluable and effective online consultation visits can be!!!
It turns out that TMJ consultations online give me the opportunity to meet the person behind the symptoms, and do it in a safe and low-stress atmosphere. TMJ consultations also enable a spouse, partner, or other family members to be in attendance as a second set of eyes and ears.
And an added and unexpected benefit of TMJ consultations online is they enable patients, particularly those who are new to my practice, to meet me without my face obscured by a mask, glasses, and shield.
TMJ Consultations Online In The Future
TMJ consultations online will never fully replace the benefits gained by hands-on examinations in my office. However, I foresee I’ll be using them to reduce the time new patients need to spend in my office – by about 30 minutes. Until social distancing becomes less critical, reducing the time we all physically spend together is an important consideration.
I am grateful for platforms such as Zoom and Doxy as we move into our “new normal.” I clearly see that the use of technology, combined with imagination, and an ongoing commitment to providing safe and thoughtful care, will enable patients to get the care they need when they need it and for practitioners like myself, to provide it.
Today, TMJ consultations online for new patients are an innovative concept. In the future, they just may be the norm.
If an online consultation is of interest to you, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information. A staff member will reach out to you.