TMJ Surgery is needed only after TMJ Splint Therapy has been done with little success. If you have TMJ Jaw Pain and/or Lock Jaw and the TMJ Splint has been worn 24 hours per day for 6 weeks, and has been evaluated and adjusted by and experienced TMJ Doctor (Dentist), then you may need TMJ Surgery.
OK, before you see an Oral Surgeon, you really need to exhaust your conservative options before you go through Surgery.
I've seen many times patients come in my office requiring TMJ Therapy because of pain...After they've already had Surgery. So, before the knife, do your diligence in obtaining opinions and recommendations.
There are so many variables causing TMJ, that you want to explore all information givin to you before you have surgery.
Do your research and then make your own decision based on what YOU really believe and feel and not necessarily your Doctor.
TMJ Surgery usually will cause a restriction in your ability to open your mouth. You just won't be able to open your mouth as far as normal after surgery. But, when Surgery is necessary the restriction in opening is a small compromise to the better health that you should expect from Surgery.
If TMJ Jaw Pain is your complaint:
If you have tried the conservative TMJ Treatments especially the TMJ Splint Therapy, and the pain will not subside, and the pain is too debilitating for daily function, then TMJ Surgery may be the right thing for you.
You need to make sure that the TMJ Splint Therapy has been done and supervised by an experienced TMJ Dentist, which hopefully follows the training from the Panky Insitute in Florida.
The Panky Institute is "Centric Relation" based. I agree with this way of Treatment.
If you build a house, you want a strong "straight" foundation. If the foundation is crooked, the framing of the walls may be compromised depending on the severity of the crookedness of the foundation. Now, if the foundation is only off an inch, two, or three or so, the house and walls will probably be just fine. But if the foundation is off by a foot, then there's gonna be some compromises in the house.
Just like the crooked foundation on a house, if the Bite is off by one, two millimeters or so, the individual may experience some symptoms but may function fine. She may need a Splint for when she sleeps, but bite correction may not be necessary. Now, if the bite is off 3,4,5, or more mm then I'm gonna make a strong recommendation to correct the bite. She's way more likely to have severe issues if the bite is not corrected.
That is similar to why the Panky Institute teaches what they do...they want the bites to be straight and solid.
If you have Lock Jaw:
This is different, get to a qualified "HPD" (Hand Picked Doc by me) to have Splint therapy right away, you don't want to mess around too long with that (one week or so). As I've written in my "Lock Jaw" page, your jaw can bond in the closed position requiring only Surgery to "Open" you up again.
So, before you decide TMJ surgery, make sure you've had Splint Therapy, because that is the best therapy to rule out having Surgery.