AACD Website Blog Clinical Insights My Jaw Joint Clic...

My Jaw Joint Clicks: TMJ Issues

January 13, 2020 by AACD Executive Office

By Jim McKee, DDS

Many patients who are seeking esthetic enhancements also present with occlusal issues. We often assume occlusal issues are due to improper tooth position; however, many tooth position problems we see clinically are the result of structural changes in the temporomandibular joints.

When a patient seeks esthetic treatment and also reports having clicking joints, there are several questions that arise:

Is it problem for the patient?

Does it need to be treated?

What can be done for clicking and popping joints?

Does the patient need an MRI or CT Scan?

It can be a truly difficult discussion because most of our clinical assessments are based on an indirect visualization of TM joint anatomy. As a result, it’s hard to know what treatments to recommend as well as the prognosis of each treatment option, because we do not always have a clear understanding of the anatomy we are treating, and reality does not always look like the textbook! Therefore, imaging is often necessary.

Gaining knowledge through 3D imaging can help dentists have more confidence when patients ask about clicking jaw joints, and lead to a better understanding of TM joint conditions.

"Understanding TM joint conditions allows for an increased level of confidence when discussing potential cosmetic changes with patients."


By better understanding TM joint conditions, dentists:

  • Can increase our treatment planning confidence
  • Can increase our ability to communicate effectively with patients
  • Can increase patient referrals and case acceptance

Take a deep dive into TMJ issues and view clinical scenarios by viewing Dr. McKee's course.

Featured Stories

by Leon Hermanides, CDT As the owner or manager of a successful dental laboratory, you'll need artistic skill, curio... Read More
by Sandra Hulac, DDS, FAACD As AACD members and esthetic-oriented dentists who believe in the most beautiful solutions, ... Read More
by Jeffrey Lineberry, DDS, AAACD Want to learn more about cracked teeth and how you can diagnose and manage them?  Crack... Read More
Because achieving your dreams requires more than just clinical knowledge and skills, we’re bringing in two young and ins... Read More

Facebook Feed


Twitter Feed

Connect with Us
American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
402 W. Wilson Street
Madison, WI 53703
United States of America


Contact Us
© 2020 American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

This website uses cookies. Cookies are little files placed on your device that help us keep members signed in, help members access their member benefits, help us understand how visitors use our website, and help us provide relevant marketing messages. Read more about our cookies policy here. By using our site, you consent to our use of cookies