Here’s A Round-Up on Identification, Insurance Cover and TMJ Treatment
It is a widely accepted fact that millions of people in our country suffer from facial pain that includes jaw pain, headaches or earaches. The sources of these pains may be connected to one or both TMJ (temporomandibular joints). TMJ is present on both sides of the head and works in cohesion with muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones for movements like chewing and talking. Due to arthritis, misaligned bit and jaw dislocation, one might feel a lot of pain and a need to undergo TMJ treatment.
TMJ disorder can refer to several conditions that impact TM joints, jaw muscles, and facial nerves. People who suffer from TMJ are generally known to have pain in and around the ear, frequent headaches, weak jaw muscles, jaw pain, difficulty to open and close mouth as well as sensitive teeth, which may require immediate attention and TMJ treatment.
How to Diagnose TMJ Dysfunction?
Diagnosis is an important step before TMJ treatment. It is difficult to identify TMJ dysfunction as the symptoms can often reflect other problems. To have a concrete diagnosis of TMJ dysfunction, one must have a detailed review and analysis of a patient’s medical history as well as physical & medical imaging reports. There are several checks as listed below which can help in TMJ diagnosis.
- Analyzing the jaw joint for pain & tenderness
- Carefully listening for clicks or pops sounds with jaw movement
- Checking teeth & the alignment of the jaw joints
- Examining for problems like high fillings, displaced teeth, cavities & uneven surfaces on your teeth
- Examining the bite alignment
- Checking for grinding & teeth clenching
- Measuring mouth opening
- Analyzing any problems with facial muscles
- Testing muscles around the shoulders, arms & back
- Full face X-rays, CT or MRI scans to view the jaw & TMJ
- Analyzing other conditions such as infection, ear disorders, nerve issues & headaches in consultation with the patient’s doctor
Does Health Insurance Cover TMJ?
Each of the insurance plans has different specifics when it comes to covering TMJ treatments. In general case scenarios, the plan may technically include TMJ surgery insurance, however, it may not cover the treatment as per your desires. If you’re fortunate to have insurance TMJ, here’s what the plan will generally cover:
- For jaw problems, oral appliances are covered for 6 months in specific cases. It is not the case for headaches or neuralgia
- Physical therapy, relaxation therapy, biofeedback & cognitive therapy is included
- Non-opiate painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Manipulation for reduction of fracture or dislocation
- Many of the surgical procedures like arthroplasty, joint replacement, cartilage, and other tissue grafts, arthrocentesis, etc are generally covered TMJ surgery insurance.
Before claiming the insurance, one needs to undergo a CT scan for TMJ diagnosis. It will help in getting proper treatment as well as compensation from insurance companies.