A dentist with 15 years of practice experience, Dr. Rocky Cullens completed an oral maxillofacial surgery residency at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. In 2016, Dr. Rocky Cullens opened a private practice, Stonewood Hills, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where he offers a range of dental procedures including temporomandibular joint (TMJ) surgery.
The TMJ connects the jawbone to the skull. Disorders caused by problems with the TMJ or the muscles attached to it can result in pain in the area, headaches, and popping and cracking when the mouth is opened and closed, and can lead to more serious conditions.
Because TMJ disorders sometimes stem from a problem with the bones, doctors treating the condition often provide their patients not with dental, but with orthopedic solutions. Some short-term issues can be addressed with non-surgical methods, but surgery is often the recommended next step if the symptoms, such as chronic pain and difficulty opening the mouth or chewing, continue.
If required, surgery may involve a total joint replacement using a prosthetic TMJ system, or a procedure can be carried out to reposition displaced cartilage with the use of orthopedic anchors. Patients with TMJ issues are encouraged to discuss their concerns with others who have undergone TMJ treatment or surgery, and schedule a consultation to explore their treatment options.