The Keys to Success for the Best Treatment Outcome

Are there things you can do while undergoing jaw treatment to insure that all treatment goals are met?  Yes!  Patients have a great deal of control over the success (or lack of success) in treatment outcomes.  In order to give you the best chance to achieve the desired treatment outcome, please observe all of these recommendations.  Over the years, we have found that patients who follow through on all our treatment recommendations do very well.

  1. Pay attention.  As stated in “What Patients Should Know Before Seeking Treatment for a Jaw Problem”, there are many causes of jaw problems and symptoms.  For some of these causes, only the patient can address them effectively.  For many patients with jaw problems, harmful habits like clenching or grinding the teeth are a primary cause of their symptoms.  You must make a conscious effort to avoid these harmful habits, and follow the guidelines and exercises you are taught.

  2. Adhere to requested changes in your lifestyle.  Stress is another major cause of jaw symptoms and related head and neck pain.  It is critical that you honestly identify the sources of your stress, and take the steps necessary to eliminate these in your life.  In addition, it is very important that you get eight hours sound sleep at night, eat a healthy diet, and get regular exercise.  In short, one of your assignments is to take very good care of your overall health.

  3. Follow through on all treatment recommendations.  We only recommend the essential treatment steps to insure a successful treatment outcome.  Failing to follow through on any of these treatment steps will likely compromise the results of your treatment, or will end up providing you with only temporary relief.  It is therefore critical that you adhere to all treatment recommendations, including seeing other clinicians you are referred to, taking prescribed medication and supplements, reading and following the self-help materials you are provided with, wearing your jaw splint as directed, and performing all therapeutic exercises as requested.

  4. Make yourself available for all requested appointments.  In order to achieve treatment goals, you need to be seen on a regular basis.  Many of our patients drive more than 3 hours to get to our office.  We understand that it can be inconvenient to make frequent appointments.  We have found that sporadic appointments for treatment rarely provides lasting relief from symptoms.  By keeping your appointments, the total treatment time can be considerably reduced.

  5. Continue practicing good habits.  Our desire is for you to achieve lasting relief from all of your symptoms, and not just a temporary improvement.  We have found that when patients continue to avoid their harmful habits, they can expect long-term pain relief, and resume normal jaw function.