Is an MRI the Next Step in Solving Your TMJ Condition?
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Temporomandibular joint conditions are linked to malocclusions and airway concerns. TMJ imaging is a key diagnostic tool for patients with pain or malocclusions.
Magnetic resonance imaging, or an MRI, is an imaging technique that takes detailed snapshots of tissues inside our bodies. An MRI uses magnetic fields, radio waves and a computer to generate the images, but it is not the same as radiation. The MRI looks at the TM joint soft tissue and disk, as well as hard tissue. Based on the disk anatomy, the doctor can assess if you are at risk for a TMJ condition.
To determine whether an MRI is the next step, we look at joint history, orthodontic history, pain history, and trauma history.
For joint history we look for:
- Locking joints
- Clicking joints (especially if younger than 18)
- Loud grinding noises
For orthodontic history we look for:
- An overbite
- Treatment with a function appliance
- Orthodontic treatment lasting longer than 2 years
For pain history we look for:
- Pain greater than 5/10
- Sharp or stabbing pain
- Pain before 18yrs old
For tor trauma history we look for:
– Car accidents
– Concussions (and participation in contact sports)
– Tonsil/ Adenoid removal
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