TMJ Issues - Other options and who to speak to?

I am currently waiting for a return NHS appointment with the local oral & maxillofacial clinic, but whilst waiting is there anything else I can do? I've already asked my (NHS) denstist who has said there isn't really anything, but you never know! Probably not very moneysaving, but thinking long-term...

Some context:
After approaching my dentist due to issues of my jaw locking closed and popping out of place he suggested a mouth splint to wear at night to prevent my jaw/teeth clenching. We're now a few years down the line and I've ran the gamut of nighttime mouth splints, arthrocentesis (both sides) and Botox. The MRI scan showed degrading cartilage, so it's not something I want to just leave if I can do something to prevent further damage, especially since I'm only in my early thirties.

I am still on the hospital waiting list and was called in for a brief follow-up around this time last year where it was suggested that another go at arthrocentesis might help, but you know, Covid. I am now on my fourth splint after biting through the last one within six months, and things aren't getting much better - if anything are getting worse. It seems like my bite has changed (possibly caused by the splint?) and I can no longer bite down on my back teeth. My dentist didn't seem overly worried about this, but I'm a little concerned, especially as we're no closer to any sort of overall resolution.
 

So - are there any options, other than waiting to hear from the clinic? If so - who should I be speaking with? A second opinion from another regular (private) dentist; an orthodontist; seek out some sort of specialist in TMJ issues and/or oral & maxillofacial issues (and how to find them?); all of the above? I'm based in central Scotland, if it matters. Any sort of pointers in the right direction are appreciated. 

Comments

  • Floss
    Floss Posts: 8,240 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Photogenic
    Can I ask who sent your referral? And have you contacted the local max-fac team to find out where you are on the list?

    Personally I would ask to see the senior partner at your dentist for a second opinion and another referral, but would also research max-fac specialists and consider contacting their professional body for advice:

    https://www.baoms.org.uk/#MainForm
    2021 Decluttering Awards: ⭐⭐🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇 2022 Decluttering Awards: 🥇
    2023 Decluttering Awards: 🥇 🏅🏅🥇
    2024 Decluttering Awards: 🥇
  • The_One_Who
    The_One_Who Posts: 2,418 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Floss said:
    Can I ask who sent your referral? And have you contacted the local max-fac team to find out where you are on the list?

    Personally I would ask to see the senior partner at your dentist for a second opinion and another referral, but would also research max-fac specialists and consider contacting their professional body for advice:

    https://www.baoms.org.uk/#MainForm

    It was the dentist who made the referral to the local hospital, my GP hasn't been involved at all. I recently had a call from the general waiting list team to ask if I still wanted to be on the list (yes!), and have contacted the consultant's secretary who couldn't tell me anything other than I was still on the list. I understand, especially as they seem to be going down the route of another surgery option that this will need to wait. The last time it was a day surgery, but it was with general anaesthetics, so not ideal during a pandemic!

    I'm not actually sure who the senior partner is at my local surgery (I assume they will have one...), but I'm sure I could find out. At the moment they are still doing 'emergency' treatments, so no check-ups or anything, but I managed to get in to get a new splint made.

    Thanks for the link. Not sure why I didn't think of searching for surgeons specifically, I think I was maybe hung up on it being a more general dental issue. I will have a look at the site, thanks. 
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.1K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.1K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.7K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.2K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 607.9K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173K Life & Family
  • 247.8K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards