What is a total joint replacement for the TMJ?
Total joint replacement for the TMJ, involves removing the actual joint and placing and artificial one in its place. This procedure is similar to a hip or knee replacement except on a much smaller scale. Dr. David Hoffman has recently received approval by the FDA to undertake a national study to investigate a clinical trial on a newly developed prosthetic joint system.
Dr. Hoffman working with Dr. Mike Pappas, a world renowned biomedical engineer in the area of artificial joints, has developed a custom-made TMJ joint replacement. The entire system is made utilizing the latest in computer technology, design and manufacturing. All the patients are initially scanned in a CT scanner, and the data is then incorporated into a Computer Aided Design workstation or a CAD. Once designed, the parts are manufactured on a Computer Aided milling Machine or a CAM. The joint parts are then checked against a model of the patients skull, again made from the CT data.
The prosthetic joint not only brings the latest in design and manufacturing, but is made of the most sophisticated materials in the joint replacement industry today. The metals are initially titanium, one of the most biocompatible metals available today, and its outer coat is hardened to titanium nitride, the same material, high molecular weight polyethylene, is a standard to the industry, and is designed so it can be replaced over time if needed, with very minimal surgery, thereby enhancing the long term life of the joint.
Total joint replacement for the TMJ is not a procedure for everyone. There are specific criteria for its use set by the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, and permitted by th FDA for this clinical trial.