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Do I Need a TMJ Dentist to Fix My Crown?

Posted by AllSmiles

I think I need to see a TMJ dentist or specialist about my crown. I got the crown in late February, and I’ve had problems ever since. My dentist has made “adjustments” five times, but my bite is off, and I have jaw and neck pain. I didn’t have these problems in the past, so I know it must be the crown. My dentist said he did everything that he could and that the bite paper looks like everything is even. So why am I still having pain? Should I see a TMJ specialist even though I know the crown is really the problem? Thanks. Amanda from Fairfax, VA


Thank you for your question.

A dentist with advanced training and skill can ensure your bite is aligned correctly. A dentist needs to understand jaw anatomy and how it affects your bite. A poor-fitting crown can cause or worsen TMJ symptoms. A dentist trained to diagnose and treat TMJ can help.

Your dentist may lack the additional training required to ensure your bite is correctly aligned. Repeated adjustments sometimes work, but they can also make things worse. If a dentist adjusts a crown too much, it will not connect with the opposite tooth.

Why See a TMJ Dentist?

Diagram of the side of a skull with the TMJ jaw joint and ligament, dsik, condyle highlighted
A dental crown that does not fit well can cause TMJ symptoms

If you see a TMJ dentist, they will examine your crown and jaw joint to determine the optimum crown position.

  • After five attempts to adjust your bite, you need a second opinion if your dentist still has not resolved the problem.
  • You may be biting incorrectly or moving your mouth in a way that compensates for the poor bite. If so, it can stress your jaw muscles and joints. Your TMJ problems will continue to progress until a dentist corrects your bite.
  • Depending on what your dentist did to adjust your bite, you might need a new crown. But a correctly aligned bite will save you discomfort, pain, and money for the long term.

Schedule an appointment for a consultation with a least two different TMJ dentists. Check their training and credentials before you make the appointments.

Rocky Hill, Connecticut dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, sponsors this post.