FAQSTMJ & SLEEP THERAPY CENTRE OF SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
Here are some commonly asked questions people have for our doctors:
I just have headaches. Why was I referred to the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of San Fernando Valley?
Chronic headaches are usually not a condition on their own. Instead, they are a symptom of an undiagnosed underlying condition. In many cases, this is a sleep-related breathing disorder or problems with the temporomandibular joint and surrounding structures. We excel at determining the underlying condition and addressing it to deliver relief.
I’m confused…why is your name TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of San Fernando Valley?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. Conditions that negatively impact it are called TMD. We choose to use TMJ in our name because people are more familiar with the term. As for sleep therapy, it is another service we offer, and since the two are often related, it makes sense to treat both.
How do I know if I have TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Disease)?
You cannot diagnose yourself with this condition, but signs you might suffer from it include: Headaches – recurring or chronic Earache or ear symptoms of stuffiness or ringing Facial Pain or Jaw Pain Neck pain or stiffness Jaw joint sounds – clicking, popping or grating noises Limited ability to open or close mouth Jaw locking (open or closed) Sensitive, loose or worn down teeth Difficulty swallowing Difficulty sleeping If you notice these symptoms in your daily life, frequently take pain medications, or use sleep medications nightly, you need to be evaluated for TMD.
I’ve already tried splints, what’s different about your treatment?
We utilize orthotics, or orthopedic appliances, that are specifically designed for each patient and made used the only peer-reviewed bite technique. We only rely on them for 12 weeks or less to decompress the jaw joint as it is rehabilitated.
Why do I have to wear appliances day and night? And why 2 different appliances?
To treat abnormalities and successfully health the jaw joints, stability is required. This support and protection is needed both day and night. Since we function differently when awake than when sleeping, different appliances are needed.
Why do I have to wear the appliance when I eat?
Eating is a perfectly natural function, but it is stressful for the jaw joint when it is already damaged. Just like you would not remove a knee brace when walking, you should keep your appliance in when engaging in what is easily the most stressful activity for the jaw joint.
I’m sure I only snore; why can’t I just get an appliance for snoring?
If you are evaluated and it really is just snoring, we are happy to give you an appliance strictly for that. However, you cannot know snoring isn’t a sleep apnea symptom without a proper evaluation. Mistaking OSA for snoring can be life threatening.
I’ve used a night guard; it really wasn’t that helpful, so what’s different about a sleep appliance?
Nightguards are meant to stop you from grinding down your teeth while sleeping. A sleep appliance opens the airway to help you breath throughout the night.
I thought the only treatment option for sleep apnea was CPAP; can I use an oral appliance instead?
Yes, oral appliance therapy is an approved form of OSA treatment, assuming that the condition is mild to moderate in nature. For severe cases, appliances are used in combination with CPAP.
I thought snoring was related to age and size; why do I hear loud, snoring like noises from my little child?
Anyone of any age can snore, but sometimes it is a sign of sleep apnea. 70 percent of children who snore also have OSA. If your little one is snoring, they should be evaluated.
I have been told the only ‘real treatment’ option for my problem is surgery; is that true?
No, non-surgical rehabilitation is the standard form of treatment—not surgery. We only resort to surgery when there are no other alternatives.
My child has started to have night terrors and is very moody; why was I referred to the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of San Fernando Valley?
Night terrors and mood swings are often caused by a lack of quality sleep. And this itself is often caused by things like sleep apnea. We are able to address the size of the airway in children to eliminate sleep apnea for life.
Are TMJ specialists medical physicians or dentists?
Our doctor is a dental physician. He is certified in craniofacial pain and dental sleep medicine. It is vital that any doctor offering these services has undergone specialized training.
Do you take insurance?
We are a private pay office. However, we do offer assistance in getting reimbursed by your insurance company.
Why can’t you bill my dental insurance?
If your dental plan has benefits for evaluating or treating TMJ conditions, we will bill for your reimbursement. However most dental plans only cover dental treatments and TMJ and Sleep conditions are medical in nature.