Author(s): McNeill C
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Abstract Historically the field of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) has been based on testimonials, clinical opinion, and blind faith rather than on science. Reparative procedures to the joints, jaws, or occlusal surfaces of the teeth to develop idealized structural relationships that may be required for dental health and function are less likely to be required for the management of chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Because of the concerns of many people today regarding professional credibility and intellectual honesty, the need for a scientific foundation to support the various belief systems is of paramount importance. In fact, therapeutic approaches for TMD are undergoing a major evolution away from the traditional mechanistic dental concepts of the past to the more current biopsychosocial medical concepts that emphasize multidisciplinary approaches. Recent advances in the understanding of pain mechanisms and management of chronic pain have improved long-term treatment outcome. The emphasis is on treatment that involves the patient in the physical and behavioral management of their own problem. The majority of patients with TMD achieve good relief of their symptoms with noninvasive, conservative therapy.
This article was published in Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod
and referenced in Journal of Pain Management & Medicine