TMJ Syndrome is an other name for TMJ, TMD, TMJ Disorder, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction etc.
All these terms mean that something is going on with and is associated with the Temporomandibular Joint. Beit pain, noises, locking, clicking, Jaw pain, TMJ Headaches. It can also be associated with teeth grinding, or wearing your teeth down, pain in the teeth, sinus pain, pain on the side of your face, ear pain, head pain etc.
They all can be symptoms of TMJ, or more accurately termed TMD (Temporomanibular Joint Disorder (or Dysfunction)), because we all have 2 TMJ's ( TM Joints), but we all don't have pain or symptoms with the TMJ's.
For TMJ Treatment, it depends on which symptom you have, and which TMJ Dentist, Doctor or clinician you see, the treatments vary greatly, but we are the only ones you have.
There are no recognized Specialist of TMJ from either the ADA or the AMA. So, it is up to us clinicians from each of our own training to treat you.
My Personal basic Philosophy is to get you out of pain. Because you can always be more susceptible to more TMJ issues once you have it, I treat the pain first and then try to recommend ways to keep the pain away.
I always do everything I can to keep you out of Surgery, you just don't want to go there until you have exhausted many conservative options, and treatments.
I probably have a patient go to surgery 1 out of every 20 patients I treat. That includes Arthrocentisis, which is a conservative type of Surgery and should be assessed before Open TMJ Surgery is evaluated.
Half the time Arthrocentisis works. When it doesn't, then Full Open surgery is the next treatment to determine. Even then, sometimes living with a low grade TMJ Syndrome and discomfort is a better choice over surgery.