Choosing Your TMJ Doctor​​

Interview Any Potential Surgeon

 

TMJ treatment is very complex.  Successful results are more likely to occur when you are treated by an experienced TMJ doctor capable of performing the full scope of treatments you may require.  In addition, the process is more comfortable and proceeds faster when performed by an experienced TMJ/Jaw doctor.  Treatment by less qualified doctors can lead to complications and unsuccessful treatment outcomes, worsening your symptoms.

 

You should interview any doctors before proceeding with care for your TMJ issues.  Consider asking your TMJ doctor the questions listed below. 

Questions to Ask Your Potential TMJ Doctor 

  • Are you certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

  • Do you have a medical license?

  • Do you have a dental license?

  • Where did you complete your training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery? (Please list all programs)

  • Did you complete any additional fellowship training?

  • Did you complete training in any other specialties?

  • Were you trained during your residency in TMJ treatment?

    • ​If not, how and where did you get your training?

  • What percentage of your practice is dedicated to TMJ treatment?

  • What percentage of your practice is dedicated to the treatment of jaw deformities?

  • How many TMJ /Jaw procedures have you performed in the last 12 months?

  • How many times have you performed the same procedures that I require?

  • What are the chances that the treatments you are recommending will be successful?

  • What will you do if your treatments are not successful?

  • Are you capable of performing all of the procedures I may require?

  • Do you have hospital privileges to perform TMJ procedures if it they become necessary?

  • Will you be the sole doctor involved in my diagnosis and treatment?

  • Will there be any physician's assistant, nurse, or resident involvement in my care?

  • Who will I speak to if I have questions during my course of care?

  • Are you affiliated with any craniofacial centers where you perform TMJ and/or jaw surgery?

  • Do you consider yourself an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of patients requiring TMJ and jaw surgery?

Insurance Considerations

 

Doctors who participate in insurance plans are commonly not screened for proficiency.  The insurance companies rarely have any criteria, or data that would indicate the doctor’s proficiency in TMJ treatment.  You may be appointed a doctor with very little or no experience in treating TMJ issues simply because the doctor participates with your insurance company. You cannot be forced to undergo this type of intricate treatment with an inexperienced doctor simply because he/she participates with your insurance plan.

 

It should be noted that if your insurance company cannot provide you with an experienced and competent sdoctor “in-network”, they must allow you to be treated by an “out-of-network” doctor without it costing you more than your network obligation.

 

 

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Dr. Amato is the founder of:

SMILING FACES FOUNDATION

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