I’m wondering if there’s a direct composite veneers technique for people with TMJ. I started off having issues with my jaw almost ten years ago now. At first, it was just slight discomfort, but now it hurts much of the time. I have trouble eating certain foods and going in for my regular cleaning is torture. I’m in pain for several days after. I do it only because I realize it’s a need, though I’ll admit I sometimes put it off because I can’t get up the courage to do it.
Lately, I’ve become really aware of how my teeth look. They’re quite worn and dingy. I should add that I’m 64 and think I have teeth that are fairly average for someone my age, but I would like to feel less self-conscious when I smile. I’ve had to have two crowns done in the past five years and both experiences were pure agony. I’ve heard that traditional porcelain veneers require a similar process. That makes them out of the question because there’s no way I would willingly subject myself to the aftermath for something cosmetic in nature. However, I have heard that sometimes dentists can create a similar look with an in-office procedure, which is what brought me here. Is there a special direct composite veneers technique that works well for someone with TMJ or am I out of luck here? To be clear, I’m not only worried about the procedure itself, but whether something like this could make my TMJ worse in the long run.
First things first, it doesn’t sound like your underlying problem has been addressed, and that’s concerning.
Technically speaking, everyone has TMJ, as the term refers to the temporomandibular joint; that’s the jaw joint, so everyone has two. Conditions involving the TMJ such as you describe are referred to as temporomandibular dysfunction, or TMD. Your message talks about wear, the need for crowns, and pain increasing over time, yet doesn’t mention at all what has been done to address these things. It could be that there’s something mechanically off with your bite or that you have a problem such as grinding causing or contributing to your pain. So, addressing that should be your first step.
If your dentist is aware that you suffer through appointments and hasn’t either made a diagnosis or referred you to a specialist for care, he should have. Because he didn’t, you’ll need to take the first step and find someone who can diagnose and treat your TMD first.
Virtually any direct composite veneers technique that doesn’t require you hold your mouth open for long periods of time or require strain could work, and it would be up to the dentist to adapt his normal procedure to be able to work within your natural limits. While this shouldn’t cause any long-term issues, if mechanics are a problem for you, this could either add to the problem or help solve it—another reason to have a specialist on board before starting any additional treatments.
This blog is sponsored by Uveneer, a unique template system that helps dentists perfect their direct composite veneers technique, creating quality results in less time.