TMJ Surgery – Several Different Types of Surgery For TMJ Relief

Although you shouldn’t turn to TMJ surgery as the first option for treatment, there does come a time when surgery may be the only option you have left. In rare situations, it may be necessary.

For those dealing with severe problems, sometimes surgery can provide relief. Of course, there are several different types of surgery out there that can be done. If you are considering whether surgery is the right option for you, here is a closer look at the surgical options you have available.


This happens to be the least invasive type of TMJ surgery, and it includes irrigating your jaw joint. You are put out with general anesthesia and the surgical procedure only takes a few minutes of time. Usually there is some swelling that occurs after the surgery. However, if your TMJ pain is better after this procedure, it is considered successful. If the pain doesn’t go away, you may need one of the more invasive surgeries to get the relief you need.

Disk Repositioning

Another type of TMJ surgery that may be an option for you is known as disk repositioning. This surgery will require you to be put under general anesthesia and it takes about two hours. The disk is repositioned and sewn into the right place, and any ligaments or muscles that need repaired are taking care of. It is possible that even after this surgery the disk will slip out once again, which could require more surgery.


Then next type of surgery to consider for your TMJ problems is called a discectomy. This surgery is done to remove the disk that is providing the joint with cushioning. It usually takes a few hours and recovery can take a couple of weeks. While you are waiting for the tissue to cover the joint, the bones will be grinding on each other. However, within 4-6 weeks you’ll usually enjoy some pain relief and begin using your jaw once again.

Articular Eminence Recontouring

You’ll find that this TMJ surgery is done on the socket area of your jaw joint. Sometimes the socket can be too deep, causing there to be pressure on the joint’s ball. This causes swelling and pain to occur. Smoothing and shortening the articular eminence can take away this pressure, giving some relief from the pain. Usually this surgery is done if trauma to the joint has occurred, or it can be included as a part of a replacement surgery.

TMJ Replacement

Last, TMJ replacement surgery is done if the joint is damaged and there is no way to repair it. This TMJ surgery is to remove the old joint and put in a new one. This could be a partial replacement or a total replacement. There are many risks to this surgery and it should only be used as a last resort for those who have exhausted all their other options. There is a long recovery time and it can take a long time to get used to the replacement joint.

It is important to realize that it is rare that you would have to submit to surgery and the results are usually not what they’re hyped up to be. We only do this type of surgery as a last resort and when all other non-surgical methods have been tried first.