TMJ Surgery: Cons & Pros, Cost, Recovery | Ultimate Guide

If you’re experiencing pain, stiffness, or lack of mobility in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), you may be a good candidate for surgery. TMJ disorders can keep you from using your jaw’s full range of movement, but surgery can help restore function.

There are various types of TMJ surgery, so it’s essential to consult with a doctor to see if surgery is the right option for you. Surgery is a last resort in most cases after other treatments, such as oral splints or mouthguards, have failed.

So what should you expect during and after surgery? Below are some frequently asked questions about TMJ surgery.

What is TMJ surgery?

A few different surgical procedures can be done to treat TMJ disorders. One is arthroscopy, which is a minimally invasive surgery that is used to diagnose and treat problems with the joint. Another is a condyloma, a surgery that opens up the joint to increase the range of motion. A joint replacement surgery can also be performed, although it is typically only used in extreme cases.

The decision to have surgery should be made after careful consideration, and all other treatment options have been exhausted. If you are considering surgery, speak with your doctor about the risks and benefits involved.

What are the risks and benefits of surgery?

There are risks and benefits associated with any surgery, but the risks associated with TMJ surgery are generally low. The most common risks include infection, nerve damage, and bleeding. Additionally, there is a small risk that the joint will not heal properly after surgery.

The benefits of TMJ surgery vary depending on the procedure performed. In general, however, surgery can help to relieve pain, increase range of motion, and improve function. It is crucial to speak with your doctor about surgery’s potential benefits and risks before deciding.

Does this surgery change your face?

Most surgical procedures for TMJ disorders are minimally invasive and will not change your appearance.

In some cases, it may be necessary to make an incision in the skin near the joint. This is typically only done in cases where other treatment options have failed.

If you are considering surgery for a TMJ disorder, speak with your doctor about the potential risks and benefits involved. Surgery is typically only recommended if other treatments have been unsuccessful.

Who’s a good candidate for TMJ surgery?

Anyone with a TMJ disorder that has not responded to conservative treatment may be a candidate for surgery.

This includes people who have:

  • Joint damage that is causing pain or headache
  • Limited range of motion in the jaw
  • Muscle damage that is causing pain or limits jaw function
  • A misaligned bite that cannot be corrected with braces or other dental appliances

What are the risks?

As with any surgery, there are risks involved with TMJ surgery.

These include infection, bleeding, and reactions to anesthesia. There is also the risk that the surgery will not successfully correct the problem. Discuss the risks with your doctor before undergoing any surgical procedure.

Are there any alternatives to TMJ surgery?

Several conservative treatment options should be tried before surgery is considered. These include:


Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory medication can all be used to help manage pain and inflammation associated with TMJ disorders.

Physical therapy

Exercises and massages can help to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the jaw, which can help to improve function and ease the pain.

Dietary changes

Avoiding hard or chewy foods can help to prevent further damage to the joint.

Splint or mouth guard

These devices can help to position the jaw in a comfortable position and prevent teeth grinding.

If you have been diagnosed with a TMJ disorder, discuss your treatment options with your doctor before making a decision. Surgery should only be considered after all other options have failed.

How much does TMJ surgery cost?

The cost of TMJ surgery will vary depending on the type of surgery being performed, the location of the surgery, and the surgeon performing the procedure. Get a quote from your surgeon before having any work done. Patients can expect to pay anywhere between $6,000 and $45,000.

Does insurance cover TMJ surgery?

Most insurance companies will cover at least a portion of the cost of TMJ surgery. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to see what coverage you have.

Tmj surgery Recovery Tips

Most people with TMJ surgery need to take some time off work or school to recover. Recovery times will vary depending on the type of surgery that was performed. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions for a successful recovery.

Some general tips for recovery include:

  1. Resting as much as possible
  2. Taking pain medication as prescribed
  3. Applying ice to the face for 20 minutes at a time
  4. Eating soft foods for the first week or two
  5. Avoiding strenuous activity for at least four weeks
  6. You should also avoid opening your mouth wide or making sudden movements with your jaw for at least six weeks. This includes yawning and gum chewing. Follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully to ensure a successful recovery.

Tmj surgery is a serious decision that should not be made lightly. Be sure to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before undergoing any procedure. Surgery should only be considered after all other treatment options have failed.

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