TMJ Surgery

What is TMJ surgery?

TMJ surgery is a type of surgery on the TemporoMandibular Joint, or the jaw joint. It is done through either an incision in front of the ear or through a small joint arthroscope. There are three main types TMJ surgery;

  • Arthroscopy — through an arthroscope
  • Arthroplasty — incision into the joint in front of the ear
  • Joint replacement — using a prosthetic joint made of metals, ceramics, and hard plastics

    Patients are candidates for these procedures if they have pain, locking, or dysfunction of the jaw joint, and have tried nonsurgical care for several weeks to months. They are usually referred for surgery by a dentist who has special training in the areas of facial pain and TMJ treatment. Surgery of this kind can be of help, but it is best to have a consultation where both the referring dentists and the Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon can discuss all the options with the patient.

    TMJ arthroscopy is a type of surgery that uses a very small fiber optic arthroscope or telescope-like instrument to look and operate inside a joint. The advantages are that the surgery is considered minimally invasive and spares the joint considerable trauma. The surgeon can sometimes operate in the joint using a combination of instruments such as lasers, shavers and future passers.

    At Staten Island University Hospital our out patient operating rooms have the latest and most sophisticated equipment for TMJ arthroscopy. Dr. David Hoffman has pioneered several of these procedures for this type of surgery.

    These procedures are done usually with general anesthesia, but the patient can go home the same day of surgery. Our staff is well experienced in this field and will be happy to send you more information upon request. Of area that have a special Laser, for small joint surgery, a homgium laser. The special technique of suturing a displaced disk, along with a laser repair has been, in part, developed at this hospital.