Woman with TMJ Pain

TMJ

Do you have trouble opening your jaw? Have you noticed daily headaches? Or do you keep clenching your teeth?

If you said yes, you may have a TMJ disorder. Fortunately, Dr. Kenneth J. Bagby and Dr. Erica R. Stokke may be able to help.

Our Billings, MT, dentists can diagnose your TMD, treating it with effective oral appliance therapy. Reach out to find relief.

The Main Symptoms Patients Experience When They Have TMJ Problems

Facial, Ear, or Jaw Pain

Headaches or Migraines

Difficulty Opening Their Mouth

Tinnitus, or Ringing in the Ears

Broken or Damaged Teeth

See How the Temporomandibular Joint Works When You Have a Temporomandibular Disorder

A misaligned bite causes chronic tension and pain in the muscles around the jaw. Tension from TMD radiates down the neck to the rest of the body. The cartilage in the jaw becomes misshapen and displaced over time. If the cartilage deteriorates, the jawbone will grind against the skull.
Temporomandibular disorder occurs when the temporomandibular joint is stressed or inflamed. It hinges your skull and jaw together. You may overwork the temporomandibular joint by repetitive, often involuntary behaviors like clenching and grinding. However, our caring and highly-educated dental team can help you find relief.

What Is Temporomandibular Disorder And What Does the TMJ Have to Do With It?

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a painful condition that can arise from clenching your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), jaw, and teeth. It can impact your long-term oral health, but it is treatable at our dental practice.

For a variety of reasons, the bite or the way the teeth fit together can contribute to muscle and joint pain and breakdown. Temporomandibular joint problems can also cause tenderness of the jaw and an aching pain in or around your ear.

They result from the jaw joints breaking down and degenerating. Temporomandibular joint problems can then make it more difficult to eat comfortably as well as open and close your mouth.

"Excellent and very personal service." Hear From Our Happy Billings, MT, Patients

1

Teresa Mae

2021

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Dr. Bagby has been my dentist most of my life.

He and his team are always professional and personable. Highly recommend!

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Crystal Jones

2019

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Excellent and very personal service. Have been a patient for 18 years and am happy to recommend Kenneth Bagby's office. My children always look forward to (not dread) their dental cleanings!! Great staff and awesome Receptionist / Office Manager!

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We Enable Our Patients To Be a Part of the Solution

Dealing with the pain and stress of TMJ problems can make you feel like you don't have control. With TMJ treatment, though, you can take it back. You're an active part of the solution when you visit our dental practice. Not to mention, you have the support and experience of our dental team, every step of the way.

We will happily answer your questions and educate you on TMD care, so that you finally have the resources you need to thrive.

Man with jaw pain

Choose a Dentist For Your TMJ Disorder Treatment

At our Billings practice, Dr. Bagby and Dr. Stokke provide patient-based TMJ care. In addition to providing compassionate treatment, we educate all of our patients, giving them the resources they can use to succeed.

Another benefit? We can monitor your teeth to see if there are continued effects from your TMD, such as worn enamel. We can also treat you if we notice changes caused by your temporomandibular joint problems, such as applying a dental crown to a cracked tooth. That way, you can finally have a happy, healthy smile. To begin your TMJ treatment, contact our Billings office or call

Team
TMJ problems can cause pervasive symptoms. If you need help, our Billings team is ready to assist.

Do I Need Surgery?

It's likely that you will not need surgery. Many patients see significant TMD treatment results with oral appliance therapy, such as the occlusal splints we provide. In the event that your inflamed TMJ needs additional care, we may be able to refer you out to a trusted professional.

How Do We Treat TMJ Disorders?

Our Billings dentists, Kenneth Bagby and Erica R. Stokke, approach TMJ treatment using oral appliance therapy. They will work together to design a treatment plan that is entirely suited to your needs and lifestyle.

With a plan in place, we can effectively manage your TMJ disorder and reduce your symptoms. This device is precision-fit to your teeth and bit to protect your teeth from excessive wear and reduce the risks for further joint and muscle damage. It is a reversible approach and can be required to diagnose conditions needing more permanent treatment for long-term stability.

Doctor and patient

Oral Appliance Therapy: A Closer Look

Occlusal Splint
For your TMJ oral appliance therapy, Dr. Stokke and Dr. Bagby will used an oral appliance called an occlusal splint. Essentially, it an occlusal splint to create a small space between your upper and lower jaw. It works by relieving pressure on the jaw joints, inhibiting overactive muscles. This results in less damage to your teeth.

The Benefits of TMJ Oral Appliance Therapy Our Proactive Solution

Tooth Insulation

Your teeth can be subject to cracks, chips, or fracturing if you continually grind them. Many patients do not even see the effects, because they are used to them, or because they grind their teeth in their sleep. Wearing an oral appliance nightly can keep you from needing dental treatment later.

Gum Protection

Over time, TMJ patients may notice that their gums have begun to recede. Unfortunately, this can lead to loose or exposed teeth and additional periodontal problems in addition to your TMD symptoms. Your oral appliance can protect your gums from further damage.

Muscle Relaxation

When your jaw and muscles are tight or inflamed, you may notice that you have difficulty opening your mouth, talking, or chewing. The nature of TMD means that the jaw and muscles are constantly overworked. By wearing your oral appliance nightly, you can give them a chance to relax and heal.

Grind Prevention

One of the most important things oral appliance therapy does is preventing further grinding. It will reposition your jaw muscles and jaw joints, so that they do not cause you to clench your teeth. This will allow you to sleep peacefully and wake up without the usual pain of your TMD.

Symptom Reduction

Ringing ears? Sore throat? Headaches? TMD patients are all too aware of the symptoms. After all this time, you can find relief with a custom-fit oral appliance. For comfort, safety, and new possibilities, our dentists are here to help you enjoy life without TMJ problems.

"I can’t recommend this dentist strongly enough." Why Our Billings, MT, Patients Trust Us

1

Bob Holbrook

2021

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I always have a positive experience at Dr Bagby’s office. Connie is always there to welcome me and answer any appointment or billing questions. Kari is an amazing dental hygienist and is so gentle and thorough. Dr. Bagby is experienced and professional and so skilled. But more than that, he’s a friend and really cares about the whole person and not just the dental problem he is working on at the time. He helps develop a long term plan for dental health. He also says “There are no heroes in my chair”. If I experience any discomfort he wants to know immediately so he can do something about it and doesn’t want anyone to just try to tough it out. I can’t recommend this dentist strongly enough. If you need a dentist, look no further.

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Susan Wenger

2021

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Dr Bagby is awesome.

He has done more for my husband than anyone.

He started with Dr Bagby in the late 80s...

He loves to educate and wants to do the best for his patients.

Thank you to Dr Bagby and his staff.

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I Need Help Paying for My Oral Appliance Therapy. What Are My Options?

Insurance

Generally, insurance will cover at least a portion of your oral appliance therapy. This TMD treatment can prevent urgent problems later down the line, so you can often find some sort of assistance.

Financing

For the dental costs insurance doesn't cover, we provide financing. Patients can use CareCredit® to help them pay for the costs of their temporomandibular disorders over time.

Membership

No matter your budget, you may be able to find relief with our membership plan. It makes TMD treatment easier and more affordable, even for those without dental insurance.

Dr. Bagby

Kenneth J. Bagby DDS, PC

The practice of Drs. Kenneth Bagby and Erica R. Stokke has provided superior, advanced, and personalized care to Billings, MT, patients since 1985. They specialize in dental occlusion issues, relieving TMJ disorder symptoms, and replacing missing teeth with dental implants. Our highly reviewed dentists are affiliated with prestigious organizations such as:

  • International College of Dentists 
  • American Dental Association
  • Montana Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry

To schedule your free consultation or second opinion, contact our Billings, MT, office using our online form or by calling (406) 252-1078.

Contact Us

"Dr. Bagby is focused on preventive care. He takes the time to explain what I can do to take better care of my teeth and health. He and his staff are caring and courteous, and I always leave with a smile." Tristan

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Billings Office

1540 Lake Elmo Dr
Ste 3
Billings, MT 59105

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