People always ask me about classifications of TMJ disorders and where I find somebody can be treated and where they cannot be treated, when we have to consider splint therapy and other avenues of treatment of the joint.
I like to think about this as the good side of town and the bad side of town.
The bad side of town are situations where you have medial hole displacements. So, if you look at the condyle, the disc is off on both aspects of the lateral and the medial pole. These are tending to be your pain patients. These are patients where we want to do minimal amounts of dentistry, only emergency care, and pretty much work with a splint to get the joint healthy and then come back and treatment plan them. That’s the bad side of town.
The good side of town are the patients that are up to that point with the lateral pole displacements, patients that are occlusal muscle issues with early joint conditions that we can still stabilize their occlusion without going into long-term splint therapy.