The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the place where your jaw attaches to your skull to enable you to open and close your jaw smoothly. Sometimes the joint is damaged or injured, leading to a debilitating condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction (TMD). If you're having pain or hearing sounds whenever you open your jaw, then schedule an appointment with Dr. Justin Becerra to see if you have TMD. At his office, Alpine Dental Arts in Lakewood, CO, Dr. Becerra utilizes innovative tools to diagnose and care for your TMD to relieve painful symptoms. Your treatment will be dependent on the cause of your TMD and your particular condition, but a few choices are oral appliances (night or mouth guards), bite adjustment, dental restorations, and much more.
"Great work, great location and great staff. The search is over."- J.I. / Yelp / Sep 27, 2018
"Great service, great location, great staff. The search is over."- J.I. / Google / Sep 27, 2018
"A visit to Alpine Dental Arts is the closest you'll ever come to enjoying a trip to the dentist. Friendly people who care about your oral health and have the competence to keep it in excellent condition. You'll really like these folks. They'll keep you smiling and do it painlessly."- N.O. / Google / Sep 20, 2018
"Excellent Service"- R.P. / Google / Sep 13, 2018
"If you’ve ever felt anxiety about going to the dentist - look no more! Alpine Dental Arts provides a dentist, Justin Becerra, DDS, and staff that will ease your worries! My husband and I had been discussing changing our dentist. A friend of our family was insistent that we give her dentist a try, because her entire family was so impressed with them. My husband and I decided to give Alpine Dental Arts a try, and we actually signed up with a new dental plan to make that happen.We were NOT disappointed ~ Dr Becerra and his staff are amazing! We all know how important the front desk is for first impressions and accommodations. Ramona and Kathy are very welcoming to each and every client, greeting them by name. They are very knowledgeable on dental procedures, and are always willing to assist with all insurance needs. They share a great sense of humor, as does the entire staff, which always helps to make you feel a little more relaxed and comfortable, especially in a dental office.I had the pleasure of having my first 6 month checkup/cleaning done by Crystal. She did a fabulous job with cleaning my teeth, and I told her that she was the first hygienist to clean my teeth without any discomfort. After my cleanings, I leave their office feeling like I had not been to the dentist. Crystal is very professional, does a great job as a hygienist, and is very calming. I have not had the pleasure of working with Joan, but I’m sure she is just as accommodating and professional.Then there is Barb, who has totally turned my life around with a beautiful smile! She accomplished this without me having to go through expensive braces or invasive procedures. I’m 65, and had pretty much planned on dealing with my teeth as they were from here on out. Over the years, they had turned yellow, and it was difficult for me to smile when having my picture taken. The tops of my front lower teeth had been chiseled away by my teeth grinding. I had two upper, pointed canines that had open spaces between nearby teeth. I finally decided to have my teeth whitened professionally, since the over the counter products didn’t seem to do the job. Barb was so patient and explained the whitening process very thoroughly. During my followup visit, she suggested I might be interested in having some bonding work done on the above mentioned problem areas. I wasn’t even aware of such procedures. She actually performed a quick sample of the procedure on my teeth so I would have an idea of what it would look like (before and after). Needless to say, I had the procedures done by Barb, at a low cost. She was very careful, and it was obvious she is a perfectionist. She wanted everything placed perfectly and shining. It was a very simple and quick procedure, with no pain, and no novocaine. It did wonders for my self-esteem!The newest member of the team, Justin Becerra, DDS, replaced the previous and wonderful Steven Anundsen, DDS (who retired). Dr Becerra is amazing as well. Both my husband and I felt very comfortable with Dr Becerra, and both agreed that he is definitely well educated in his field. He kept the incredible staff, which was encouraging to their clients, right from the start. He is very professional, and joins the entire staff with the ability to enlighten your day. Kudos to Alpine Dental Arts!"- C.D. / Google / Sep 06, 2018
TMD may be caused by an injury to the jaw, years of teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching, or misalignment of the teeth (dental malocclusion). Other conditions that may cause TMD include arthritis or a tumor in the TMJ. Sometimes the cause of TMD is unclear, but if you're having symptoms, Dr. Becerra can diagnose and care for your TMJ. Some of the most typical signs of TMD are tenderness or pain at the temporomandibular joint, involuntary contractions in your face muscles, feeling like your jaw is rigid or stuck, and frequent headaches that begin in front of your ears. Another sign is hearing popping, clicking, or cracking when you move your jaw.
What To Expect
To diagnose TMD, Dr. Becerra will listen carefully to understand your concerns prior to a physical exam. Throughout the examination, he will evaluate how your jaw moves and look for signs of teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and misalignment. He will also palpate the jaw and lower face for any swelling and tenderness. Dr. Becerra might want to have digital images of your lower head along with an analysis of your bite to search for underlying factors that may determine your therapy approach. Depending on the examination, he will discuss your treatment choices that may incorporate a mouth guard, teeth straightening, or dental restorations (crowns, bridges, and dentures).
Along with treatments to solve the root cause of your TMD, Dr. Becerra may suggest different ways to relieve pain and other problems on your own. This may include eating softer foods, not biting your nails or chewing gum, applying heat to your jaw, and relaxation methods. Dr. Becerra may also show you exercises to strengthen your jaws or prescribe medication to relax your jaw muscles (and to relieve pain, nervousness, or even inflammation).
You should continue to go to follow-up appointments so Dr. Becerra can assess the results from your treatment. If your therapy isn't working, he might consider another strategy. As soon as your TMD is treated, you should continue to schedule yearly dental examinations at Alpine Dental Arts to keep your mouth healthy.
Dental insurance policies for diagnosing TMJ pain and TMD treatments will change, so we'll get in touch with your provider to figure out your personal expenses. Whether you do or don't have dental insurance, Dr. Becerra will discuss price quotes when discussing treatment choices. To help make all remedies cheap, Alpine Dental Arts takes many payment options and we will be able to help you find medical financing.
Advanced TMD Treatments
Pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can make it difficult to eat, talk, and enjoy your life. Since there are lots of potential causes, signs, and remedies to treat temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), make an appointment with Dr. Justin Becerra at his practice in Lakewood, CO. He will perform a detailed exam prior to making a diagnosis and talking about treatment choices. Get in touch with our staff at Alpine Dental Arts to learn more and schedule your appointment.