Surgical treatments are controversial and should be avoided when possible. There have been no long-term clinical trials to study the safety and effectiveness of surgical treatments for TMD, nor are there criteria to identify people who would most likely benefit from surgery. Failure to respond to conservative treatments, for example, does not automatically mean that surgery is necessary. If surgery is recommended, be sure to have the doctor explain to you, in words you can understand, the reason for the treatment, the risks involved, and other types of treatment that may be available. If you have had prior TM joint surgery, remember that another surgical procedure is not always the answer to the problem.
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