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Why Are More Dentists NOT helping TMD patients?

I can only guess why more dentists are not diagnosing and treating temporomandibular disorders, but I can give my perspective. It is complicated. Not the explanation of why, the diagnosis and treatment planning. It can be attributed to pain in the musculature surrounding the temporomandibular joint much of the time, but relieving the pain is tricky and can be a very long process, if there is relief of the pain at all. Patients often have headaches that we know originate in the musculature surrounding the TMJ, but we feel as if headaches fall within the scope of medical practitioners or physical therapists or someone else, but not dentists. Not to overlook that there are not many dentists that are very skilled at getting excellent results for patients and significant pain relief. But for the average practicing general dentist, we often have little interest in taking care of these patients, because the protocols are complicated or confusing, but the results are often mixed. It can also be lacking in financial reward, as well, which is a practical matter that most of us do need to consider. So, due to this combination, it can be frustrating to attempt to help these patients.

Fortunately, there are new protocols that have been developed that can make the process of helping these patients simple, effective and productive financially for our practices. The Trudenta system ( is a marriage of therapies that have been utilized across the fields of dentistry, medicine and physical therapy. The system involves keeping a TMD/headache patient in the dental office for a series of therapy appointments from the start to finish of the Trudenta protocol. We have been using the protocol in our practice with great success. I am proud to offer this unique, extremely marketable system in our practice for our patients that have been suffering. Many patients have been suffering for years, sometimes even decades and are experiencing truly amazing results. Finally, many of the puzzle pieces have been put into place to offer our patients relief to their pain. One of the best parts of being a dentist is helping patients to look and feel their best. It is extremely gratifying to help patients that had previously thought that they were a “lost cause” or had run out of hope. Dentistry can certainly be a challenge, but it also is a joy when we help those that need it most.


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