Frequently Asked Questions

How long is Treatment?

Treatment can range in time depending on what treatment is needed to alleviate the pain and chief concerns. Sometimes the condition can be treated with a simple night time appliance, called an orthotic. Other times a more comprehensive treatment approach is necessary, in which we need to find the patient a new bite position to correct the TMJ dysfunction. This new bite position is achieved with an appliance called an orthotic. But unlike the night time orthotic, this appliance is worn 24 hours a day. This more comprehensive approach can take 4-9 months depending on the severity of the dysfunction.

Does my insurance cover TMJ/TMD treatment?

Many times, if TMJ/TMD treatment is covered, it would be through medical insurance rather than dental insurance. At BKS Dental Center for TMJ and Facial Pain, we will take the time to enter both your medical and dental insurance information, and preauthorize coverage through both.

How long will it take for me to feel better?

Many patients begin feeling better with 1 week after wear the orthotic appliance. Complete resolution of symptoms can take long, depending on the severity of the TMJ dysfunction.

How is the orthotic different from an over the counter night guard?

Over the counter night guards are made from a flexible material. They are the same thickness for everyone, and the position the bite and jaw joint is put in is a complete guess. In many cases, because the jaw and bite position is a guess, the pain can get worse, not better. The orthotic appliance is made from a hard acrylic material and is custom fitted to the teeth. Great time is taken to make sure the bite is in the correct spot for the jaw muscles and joint. This is a very specific position, not a guess.

How often will I need to come in?

When treatment first starts, you can expect to come in about once a month for 4-5 months. After that, the appointments are on an as needed basis until pain resolves. Once pain resolves, we will evaluate for the next step in treatment to keep you pain free.

Will my headaches go away?

If headaches are related to a poor jaw joint position and bite, the headaches will resolve with the use of an orthotic appliance that is adjusted to the correct bite position. If there are other conditions present that are contributing to the headaches, we will work to identify these and make a referral to the proper health care provider to help in headache resolution.

What payment options do you offer?

At BKS Dental Center for TMJ and Facial Pain, we offer some in house financing, along with financing through Care Credit. We accept cash, check, and credit card payments as well.

Who should treat TMD?

Dentists are the proper health care provider to treat jaw disorders stemming from a bad bite. Some dentists have more training to properly diagnose and treat these conditions. There is no recognized board specialty, however, in the area of TMD and occlusion.

Dr. Stafford has completed two Fellowship degrees, one in the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and the other in the International College of Craniomandibular Orthopedics (ICCMO). She has also completed advanced coursework at the Center for Occlusal Studies, LVI, Olendorf Appliance Lab, and ICCMO. Dr. Stafford has worked in a clinical setting with several mentors, including Dr. Terrance Spahl and Dr. Jay Gerber.