At Texas TMJ & pain management, we receive several questions that are frequently asked by people both familiar and unfamiliar with what our practice has to offer. In response to this, we present our FAQ section.

What is orofacial pain?

Orofacial pain management involves the TMJ/TMD and much more. Basically, any type of pain involving the mouth, head, or neck region is considered orofacial pain. Dr. Virk is board-certified in Orofacial pain and properly trained to manage temporomandibular joint disorder, headache, chronic dental pain, musculoskeletal pain, and neuropathic pain such as trigeminal neuralgia and post-herpetic neuralgia. Additionally, the practice of orofacial pain includes the management of obstructive sleep apnea and snoring using an oral sleep appliance.

What is a board-certified doctor?

When picking a doctor, people consider various factors, including: proximity, gender and reviews from friends or family. One attribute that many suggest you add to that list is whether the chosen provider is board certified. But what does that really mean and what does it suggest about a doctor?

Dental specialty certification in the United States is a voluntary process. While dental licensure sets the minimum competency requirements to diagnose and treat patients, it is not specialty specific. Board certification demonstrates a doctor’s exceptional expertise in a specialty and/or subspecialty of dental practice.  Certification by specialty board involves a rigorous process of testing and peer evaluation that is designed and administered by specialists in the specific area of practice.

If your doctor is certified, it means he or she is dedicated to providing exceptional patient care through a rigorous, voluntary commitment to lifelong learning through board certification. In addition to completing years of schooling, fulfilling residency requirements and passing the exams required to practice in your state, your board certified specialist participates in an ongoing process of continuing education to keep current with the latest advances in medical/dental science and technology in his or her specialty as well as best practices in patient safety, quality healthcare and creating a responsive patient-focused environment.

Choosing a right doctor

As a patient, you are certainly interested in meeting a doctor who will not only address your immediate complaints but will also make sure that your entire body functions properly. Only such a comprehensive strategy may lead to efficient results. Establishing the source of the problem and making a proper diagnosis before starting any therapy is the most important step toward a successful course of treatment.

Texas TMJ & Pain Management specializes in treating patients with acute and chronic pain in the orofacial region (head, neck, face) and temporomandibular joints (TMJ). The clinic also treats patients with obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. All methods of treatment are non-surgical, non-invasive, conservative, and reversible. Dr. Virk also believes in a team approach in complicated cases. Therefore, he works in cooperation with dentists, sleep physicians, primary care and ENT doctors, physical therapists, neurologists, dietitians, neurosurgeons and other healthcare providers.

What does TMJ stand for?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. Everyone is born with two TMJ’s since it is a body part just like the knee is a body part. However, most people think it is a diagnosis. Most patients that think they have something wrong with their TMJ are actually suffering from muscle pain that refers pain to the TMJ joint or to the surrounding area.

What types of pain do orofacial pain doctors treat?

We treat headache, head and neck muscle pain, nerve pain throughout the head and neck, certain ear pains (TMJ/muscle referred pain), and TMJ. Management of sleep apnea and snoring is also an integral part of orofacial pain practice.

What type of jaw issues do you treat?

We treat jaw issues such as pain in the jaw from a limited opening, which can be caused by muscles or a disk that is out of place. We treat patients whose jaw is stuck open and are unable to close their mouth, jaws that deflect to one side during opening, jaws that deviate to one side and then return back to the midline during opening, certain types of earaches that feel like they are coming from the jaw. But we only treat patients with pain.

Is your treatment covered by medical or dental insurance?

Almost all of our treatment is covered by medical insurance. Some procedures might be covered by dental insurance, but it depends upon your plan.

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