A Note From Dr. Tanenbaum
During the course of every week, I meet and consult with many patients who have a wide variety of similar-sounding TMJ / orofacial pain disorders. Fortunately, most of their problems are common, familiar to me, and, most importantly, helpful.
My approach to care is unique in that I spend time not just asking about your symptoms and history but getting to know you as a person. I take the time to listen to you so I know who you are. This conversation, coupled with a thorough exam, is often all I need to diagnose your problem and put an appropriate plan of care into action.
I look forward to meeting you,
Your First Visit…
When you arrive for your first visit, you and I will sit down to have what I call a diagnostic conversation. In this conversation, I will ask you many questions about your symptoms, their history, any changes in your life, and the stressors you may be under. We’ll also review your relevant medical and dental history during this first visit.
Next, I’ll perform an examination of the muscles of your jaw, head, neck, and your TMJs (temporomandibular joints). I’m looking for clues to determine the origins of your pain, the clicking or popping in your jaw joint, and/or your jaw motion limitations. At this time I’ll perform a soft tissue oral examination and assessment of your tooth-related structures and your chewing function, as well.
Based upon our diagnostic conversation and the examination, I may opt to take x-rays of your TM joints and dental structures. I may also refer you for a CT scan, an MRI, blood tests, or a consultation with another physician.
If you are in intense pain at your first visit, there are various ways I can try to offer you some relief right away. They include joint and nerve anesthetic blocks, trigger point injections, prolotherapy, Botox and/or steroid injections. How you react to these measures can often help me to establish a diagnosis.
Regardless of how uncomfortable you may be right now, your problem is solvable. You’re in good hands. Relief lives here.