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Facial Pain & TMD Barrington

Woman holding face in painDid you know that, in addition to providing exceptional dental care, we also offer effective management of facial pain? Whether you have jaw pain, ear pain, headaches or other types of facial pain, Dr. Iwona can address your discomfort using conservative treatment options.

After suffering herself from migraines, general dentist Dr. Iwona became motivated to learn more the causes and treatments of facial pain. After completing a mini-residency on TMJ and Orofacial Pain at UCLA, she became a member of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain and annually attends their symposium. She is also a member of the American Pain Association and the International Association for the Study of Pain.

Are you a doctor looking to refer a patient to our care? Click here for our online Facial Pain & TMD referral form.

Your Initial Examination

If you’ve had imaging such as X-rays or MRIs done elsewhere, please bring those in for Dr. Iwona to review. The process of getting your facial pain evaluated is different from that of a dental exam. Dr. Iwona will perform muscle, cervical and neurological examinations to determine the source of your pain.

After the examinations, she can determine if you have a muscle, joint or neurological problem. Treatment for your pain will differ depending upon the diagnosis. It might be in the form of habit changes, painkillers or steroids, splints, physical therapy, an injection such as Lidocaine or BOTOX®, laser therapy or a referral to a neurosurgeon.

TMJ Assessment and TMD Treatment

Problems with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Dr. Iwona will check the sounds from your TMJ with a stethoscope and establish a tentative diagnosis. How TMJ pain is treated depends on the case but it usually starts with painkillers, a soft diet and exercises for the muscles. Sometimes she prescribes medications such as steroids if inflammation is present. Dr. Iwona also may recommend a splint, which is a specific type of mouthguard that you wear at night.

Some patients have clicking joints but no pain and while others do have pain. Dr. Iwona will provide instruction on managing any discomfort with your TMJ through sleeping, posture and exercise.

If you’ve had TMJ pain for at least six months, your case could be considered chronic. If your TMJ pain is from a recent trauma, it may resolve in less than six months. She is happy to work with any specialists in the treatment of your facial pain.

TMJ laser treatment on female patientProviding Noninvasive Laser Therapy

We are proud to offer the Gemini laser, which now features a PBM adapter. Our dentists can use this technology to manage pain related to TMD.

How It Works
Photobiomodulation (PBM) or low-level laser therapy, is a noninvasive photo-chemical reaction. Here’s what happens: light energy of a particular wavelength, intensity and duration is absorbed at a cellular level.

When that takes place, there’s an increase in healing and an improved recovery time. Other benefits include the stimulation of collagen production, a reduction of free radicals and a decrease in TMD-related pain. The treatment takes only about a minute.

For best results, we typically do laser treatment twice a week for at least three weeks. Although laser therapy used for this purpose isn’t covered by insurance, our fees are very affordable.

Pain Relief & Healing With Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

Since the mid-90s, Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) has been used in various surgical settings, but has become popular in the dental industry. PRP is a safe, convenient, and cost-effective way to reduce post-operative pain, stimulate tissue and bone growth, and reduce healing time.

We use it at Hart Dental to relieve our patients’ facial pain and discomfort from TMD. In the past, we gave patients steroid or Lidocaine injections to relieve pain, but with PRP, we use the patient’s own blood to improve the healing and regeneration of the TMJ.

What Does the Process Involve?

The procedure is simple and straightforward. After drawing a small amount of your blood (about 55cc), we’ll place it in a centrifuge machine to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of your blood. Typically, your blood will be spun two to three times to achieve optimal results.

Once the PRP is isolated from the rest of the blood, your dentist will collect it and inject it into the affected area. In the case of TMD, the dentist would inject PRP into the jaw joint.

A Patient Success Story

For various types of facial pain relief, Dr. Iwona sometimes administers Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks (SGB). She has some patients who come in with tinnitus who are referred to her by ENT specialists. “One of my patients comes in every 3-4 months for injections for the specific muscle inside the mandible. When I give her Lidocaine or BOTOX injections the ringing in the ear disappears.” Dr. Iwona also can treat trigeminal neuralgia with BOTOX injections.

If you’ve been putting up with facial pain, we encourage you to contact our Barrington practice today. Dr. Iwona can provide a diagnosis and treat the problem using various options.

TMJ Treatment Barrington, North Barrington, South Barrington and Barrington Hills IL | (847) 865-4278