Classification of jaw joint (TemporoMandibular Joint = TMJ) defects is very important in terms of defining the disease and determining the correct treatment to be applied. Jaw joint disorders today include the discomfort of all structures associated with the jaw joint; The jaw joint, the articular disc, the attachments around the jaw joint, the muscles that lift and pull the jaw down, and the teeth are the areas where this disease occurs. Jaw joint discomfort does not only include the deterioration of the structures within the joint, but also the deterioration of all related tissues is evaluated within this scope.
However, the classification of TMJ disorders and the selection of successful treatments to be applied accordingly are entirely determined by the degree of deterioration of the structures in the TMJ: in particular, the thinning of the disc in the TMJ and the correct development of its position during joint movements or its incorrect displacement are taken as criteria for this classification. In jaw joint disorders, hearing a “click” sound in the patient’s joint, especially in the morning, indicates that this deterioration has begun. If the clicking sound disappears during the day, the disease is still in its early stage and its increase can be prevented with an intervention. In the advanced stages, the type of treatment also changes, and measures should be taken to prevent the disturbing symptoms and to reduce the patient’s pain. Therefore, shaping the treatments requires the correct determination of the degree of the disease first. While the application of plaque treatment in the early stages may cause more harm than good to the patient, this type of appliance treatment in the advanced stages is nothing but a waste of time. Some patients come to our clinic with complaints of increased pain immediately after plaque treatment, and some of our patients’ relief with neuromuscular “Aqualizer” type plaques applied is entirely related to the degree of the disease. Today, the most modern methods used to determine the degree of discomfort are as follows:
1- T-Scan Occlusion Analysis
2- Electromyography taken with Occlusion Analysis
3- Joint Vibration Analysis (JVA)
4- Chewing and mandibular movement shape analysis
The combined application of all four of them allows to successfully determine the degree of the disease and make the correct diagnosis at a rate close to 100%. Magnetic resonance, on the other hand, is also an alternative diagnostic tool for determining the degree of TMJ disease, but it is no longer used in modern dental clinics due to its high price, difficulty in the evaluation phase, and the inability to see many factors that determine the degree of the disease.