Has your temporomandibular joint disorder ever hurt so badly that you just wished you could throw out your old temporomandibular joint and get a whole new one? Well, the good news is that in the future you may be able to do just that. For now, however, that procedure is reserved for very rare cases, such as the recent case of a man in Cyprus who received a new temporomandibular joint following cancer treatment.
The man was having extreme difficulty eating and chewing after undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. The pain eventually got so bad the man supposedly could not move his jaw. So surgeons customized a temporomandibular joint implant specifically for the patient, and replaced his old TMJ with the prosthetic.
The surgery was lauded by the health minister of Cyprus for its success. It also has the unique honor of being the first surgery of its kind performed in the country at a public hospital.
So, what about here? Why aren’t dentists scheduling this procedure for U.S. patients? For starters, it's very risky and thus reserved for only the most extreme cases – patients with severe damage to their TMJ who would not benefit from less invasive surgeries like arthroscopy and arthroplasty.
If you are interested in learning more about temporomandibular joint surgery, speak to Dr. Lederman to see if you are a good candidate. Often, patients can benefit from neuromuscular dentistry and do not require such invasive and extreme measures. To schedule an appointment, please call 516-882-1764.