Surgical Treatment Options for TMJ Disorders

Dr. Caloss takes a conservative approach, pursuing non-invasive therapies before turning to surgical interventions. If non-surgical interventions fail to alleviate symptoms in your case, Dr. Caloss may recommend surgical treatment for TMJ disorders. TMJ’s surgical treatment options include arthrocentesis or arthroscopy, open arthroplasty, and total joint reconstruction. These options are reserved for extreme cases in which the patient’s jaw has a severe problem, such as it cannot open, is dislocated, or shows significant degeneration. 

Surgical treatments for TMJ disorders aim to correct problems with the joint, reposition the disk, remove scar tissue, or reconstruct the joint. These surgical interventions can restore the function of your TMJ if non-surgical treatments have been unsuccessful. Different Surgical Options to Treat TMJ Disorders are:

1. Arthrocentesis/Arthroscopy

Dr. Caloss will diagnose and treat TMJ pain and dysfunction using minimally invasive procedures including arthrocentesis or arthroscopy.  Arthrocentesis involves using two needles to irrigate out inflammatory mediators and reduce joint pain.  It is typically performed in the office under intravenous sedation.

Arthroscopic surgery involves a mini-telescopic tool that enables Dr. Caloss to irrigate the joints and make precise adjustments to the discs without creating a visible incision. The arthroscope inserted allows visualization of the disc and internal surfaces of the joint to help better diagnose your condition.  Sometimes medication such as a steroid can be injected to reduce inflammation and pain.

2. Open Arthroplasty

If arthroscopic surgery cannot resolve the joint problem, open surgery may be necessary. During an open arthroplasty, Dr. Caloss creates a small incision in front of the ear to expose the TMJ directly. Open surgery enables Dr. Caloss to perform more complex corrections and reposition the disks and ligaments near the joint. In addition, he can remove diseased tissue and smooth or remove bone that interferes with the proper function of the joint.

3. Total Joint Reconstruction

If your TMJ has deteriorated beyond repair, a total joint reconstruction or replacement may be necessary to restore your natural facial form and functions and relieve symptoms. Total joint reconstruction is a surgical procedure to replace your TMJ with a prosthetic joint. Precision 3D imaging and digital models of your teeth and jaws are used to fabricate an anatomically perfect prosthetic joint to replace your TMJ.

the Recovery After TMJ Surgery?

Following your TMJ surgery, some recovery time will be necessary to allow your body to heal. The length of your recovery largely depends on the type of TMJ surgery. Arthroscopic surgery requires a short recovery timeline of about a week. If you undergo an open arthroplasty surgery, plan on a two-week recovery period. A total joint replacement requires the most prolonged recovery period of three to six weeks following surgery. Dr. Caloss will go over your post-operative care instructions during your consultation and walk you through every step of the recovery process.

Is there a risk of complications from TMJ surgery?

Every surgery carries inherent risks, so Dr. Caloss pursues non-invasive treatment options for TMJ before resorting to surgical intervention. Open joint surgery carries a higher risk of complications than arthroscopic procedures. Rare complications from TMJ surgery include reduced mobility in the TMJ, teeth misalignment, nerve damage in the face, and deafness.

Complications like those listed above are exceedingly rare. Dr. Caloss takes a conservative approach to surgery and only recommends invasive treatment options when absolutely necessary.


Call our Jackson MS office at Jackson Office Phone Number 601-841-3223 today to schedule your consultation and see if surgical treatment for TMJ disorder is required in your case.