Why assess your TMJ condition?

Shohei Ohtani, Japanese baseball player, who transferred to the Dodgers, is doing great this year. His new interpreter, William Ireton, is a patient who underwent orthodontic treatment at our clinic when he was a child. He comes to our clinic every year when he returns from the US, and his personality is fantastic! I'm sure he will be a great supporter of Ohtani. I look forward to seeing them both do well.

Now, when planning orthodontic treatment, I feel it is very important to properly assess the patient's TMJ condition, and I have been practicing this.

According to Dr. Isberg, a Swedish TMJ imaging specialist, when she collected statistics on patients who had disc displacement in the TMJ and suffered pain because of it, the most common age was 15 years old. Of course, it is suspected that at earlier ages, some symptoms such as noise in the joint or difficulty in opening the mouth would have begun to occur, although there was no pain or subjective symptoms. The general opinion is that disc displacement is progressive. It is surprising that the age at which TMJ problems occur most frequently is at age 15, not adulthood.

People usually do not come to the hospital unless the pain gets severe. Pain makes people anxious. If orthodontic treatment is done with disc displacement, there is a great possibility of pain during or after treatment. So as an orthodontist, I try to be as careful as possible to prevent this from happening during treatment.

Therefore, in addition to regular records, we use CT and MRI (imaging) of the temporomandibular joint to help with diagnosis. No direct harm to the human body has been reported with MRI. In addition, the X-ray dose received by our Limited Cone Beam CT (CT for short) is about 86 microsieverts for both TMJ imaging, which is equivalent of a one-way trip between Tokyo and New York. For children under 12 years old, the exposure time is further cut in half.

Thirty years ago and today, what can be done with orthodontic treatment has advanced dramatically. Unfortunately, the method of only aligning the teeth, which is seemingly easy to do, seems to be spreading, but our clinic will stick to the proper and original orthodontic treatment and pass on the correct techniques and methods to the next generation.

William's beautiful Smile!
From Daily Sports News