Seeking treatment for temporomandibular disorders: What patients can expect from non-dental health care providers
journal contributionposted on 19.08.2019, 00:00 by Charles S. Greene, Andrew E. Bertagna
The dental profession has long been the primary source for clinical management of patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). However, patients with a facial pain problem may seek diagnosis and/or treatment from other health care providers. These providers may be physicians or other professional-level practitioners, or they could be members of various allied groups, such as physical therapists or occupational therapists. However, little has been written about what patients might experience if they seek care outside of the dental profession. This article reports the results of an Internet survey of non-dental professionaland allied health care professionals to learn what they might offer to patients who may be seeking treatment for TMDs. The official organizational websites for all groups, as well as the websites of individual practitioners in each group, were reviewed. Most of the official websites had little or no information about TMDs, but some members of every group surveyed were offering to treat TMDs in their offices. The variety of treatments being offered went far beyond the boundaries of appropriate TMD management in the 21st century. These results are presented with a critical discussion of each concept or practice, as well as advice for both dentists and patients to deal with this situation.