At Pasadena Orofacial Pain Associates, we receive a number of 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, is that like TMJ?
Orofacial pain management involves the TMJ and much more. Basically any type of pain involving the mouth, head, or neck region is considered orofacial pain. Dr. Cebula is 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 through the use of an oral sleep appliance.
On March 31, 2020, the ADA National Commission for Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards approved Orofacial Pain as the 12th dental specialty. This advancement of the profession of Dentistry will institute evidence-based treatments as the standard of care for all orofacial pain conditions including TMJ dysfunction. The term ‘TMJ specialist’ used by many general dentists who treat TMJ dysfunction will now be considered obsolete as it has never been approved as a true dental specialty.
Recognition of Orofacial Pain as a dental specialty will improve access to evidence-based treatments for patients as the American Academy of Orofacial Pain (AAOP) will be working with dental and medical insurers toward the goal of expanding coverage of care for patients. Specialty recognition will further expand the number of CODA-accredited advanced education programs in Orofacial Pain, training more dentists as Orofacial Pain Specialists and improving access to care.
Do you accept my insurance?
One of the first things we will do when you contact our office is ask for your medical insurance information. We do this to know what your insurance coverage will be before Dr. Cebula performs any necessary treatment. We will collect the fee for services rendered at each appointment based on our fee schedule and your estimated insurance coverage. As a courtesy, we will file a claim to your medical insurance if they accept treatment from out of network.
Do I need a night guard?
If you are suffering from myalgia (muscle pain) or arthralgia (joint pain), or have fractured any teeth without an obvious cause, then a hard acrylic stabilization splint for night time wear may help you with your symptoms. At the least, a night guard will help to protect your teeth and TMJs from excessive biting forces while you sleep. Many will experience an improvement in their pain even though the appliance will only affect bruxism for a short period after delivery. Dr. Cebula will determine the need for a stabilization splint based on your symptoms and exam findings. For patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a mandibular advancement device would be appropriate for CPAP-intolerant patients because a splint alone may make the apnea worse. If you are unsure if you have sleep apnea, Dr. Cebula is trained to identify the signs and symptoms of OSA and will refer you a sleep-disorders specialist for diagnosis.