Saint Paul, Minn. – November 8, 2013 – On November 6, 2013, a continuing education course Protecting Your Practice: Legal and Clinical Red Flags was held in St. Paul, Minn. During the course, Dr. James Fricton, founder of the TMJ clinic at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, advised attending dentists to use the Restful Jaw® external support device when treating patients with pre-existing TMD to avoid potential legal and clinical problems.
About a quarter of the general population experience orofacial pain*, and more than half of patients with TMD attribute the cause of their jaw pain to prior restorative or surgical dental treatments**. Dr. Fricton cautioned the dentists to determine first if the patient’s existing jaw pain is a simple or complex case before beginning treatment. Course attendees learned from case studies how the Restful Jaw® device can significantly reduce patient jaw pain by externally supporting the mandible during dental treatment. Dr. Friction also highlighted the importance of using the device to protect the TMJ during sustained mouth opening and from the down ward force of tooth extractions on the mandible.
* De Leeuw, R., Klasser, G.D. (Eds.). (2013). American Academy of Orofacial Pain, Guidelines for Assessment, Diagnosis and Management. Chicago, IL: Quintessence Books.
** Fricton, J.R., Kroening, R., Haley, D., & Siegert, R. (1985). Myofascial pain syndrome of the head and neck: a review of clinical characteristics of 164 patients. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, 60(6), 615-623.