Testimonial from TMD/TMJ Patient
Before becoming a patient of Dr. Ringhofer, I felt as though I was looking for help in all the wrong places. I was in a car accident in 2005 where I slid out on black ice and wrapped my truck around a telephone pole. It was totaled, but I was alright. A little banged up and sore, but nothing broken or scratched; or so I thought.
As time went by, my jaw became sore when I would chew gum. I let my previous dentist know about it, and he told me it was probably due to clenching my teeth at night and told me to stop chewing gum. He made me a guard to wear at night, but it didn’t fit or feel right. I was a regular at his office; going in every six months for my checkups, and trusted his opinion.
My pain gradually got worse over the span of about 7 years. I continued to mention the increasing pain in my face and around my ears that occurred every time I tried to eat something chewy, and in the mornings. My previous dentist kept saying the same thing about clenching, so it was left untreated and worsening.
I decided to look for a new dentist, and started asking friends and family who they would recommend. I received a glowing account of Dr. Ringhofer’s work from a good friend of mine who worked in his office. I knew she would only work for someone who was a trustworthy and caring person, so I checked out his website and made an appointment.
When I met Dr. Ringhofer and told him about my jaw soreness, he immediately recognized that there could be something more going on than nightly clenching. He performed a series of assessments, took measurements, ordered scans, and took the time to fully analyze at all the data he collected. Afterward, he asked me and my husband to meet with him to go over the information. He spent time with us, explaining everything and answering every imaginable question we had. I knew we were part of the team, and that felt amazing.
Suddenly I had treatment options available to me that were able to manage and eventually alleviate my pain permanently. He kept me well informed and educated the whole time about what we were looking at and why. This was very important to me because understanding how all of this worked helped me to stay calm and feel less scared. He never talked above me, or hurried through anything. I felt safe and finally on the road to progress.
We tried minimally invasive methods to stabilize my bite for a while. Dr. Ringofer made himself available to me whenever I had a question or if my jaw pain got worse. During this time, the pain was slowing, but still increasing, so Dr. Ringhofer told me about a specialist who he works closely with and highly respects. He helped me get a consultation with this doctor and stayed by my side as my jaw continued to worsen.
Two years ago, I was watching TV and talking with my husband, when all of a sudden my jaw felt tight. I stretched it and the right side of my jaw popped and locked, causing extreme pain and only allowing my mouth to open 11 millimeters; barely enough to get a spoon in my mouth without all the food falling off. A few minutes later, the left side followed suit. It is a day I will never forget. I was in terrible pain. So, I called Dr. Ringhofer who saw me right away and helped manage my pain until I was able to get to my consultation with the specialist. I appreciated his sincere care and the knowledge he shared on how to best manage my pain and needs with medicine and natural therapies.
At my consultation, the specialist found that the disks between my jaw and skull were dislocated and disintegrating as a result of the whiplash I endured from the car accident years ago. He was able to perform a corrective surgery and restored my jaw to a normal condition that is now pain free. Dr. Ringhofer is so caring that he went through great lengths to join me in every step of this journey, even coming with me to observe my surgery so he could know how to best treat me afterwards.
I credit Dr. Ringhofer with helping me get me life back. I am so lucky that I found him when I did. He not only took my concerns seriously, but also had the skill set to recognize the problem, and kept me informed and throughout this process. He was very calming in a time where I was scared.
The treatment plan and subsequent surgery Dr. Ringhofer recommended changed my life forever. I am now able to resume activities I enjoy like going to concerts and eating what I want to eat. Before my treatment, I was unable to go to see live music, which is one of my favorite things to do. The vibration hurt my ears because of my jaw problems. I am now able to eat my favorite foods once again. Most importantly, my TMJ treatment at Complete Dentistry of Orland Park, gave me my joy back. I am now able to smile, laugh, and enjoy a high quality of life.
After being on this journey with the Complete Dentistry of Orland Park team, I know I am in the absolute right place for care. If someone else has jaw pain, I would say that a consultation with Dr. Ringhofer and his staff just may change your life, as it did mine. It certainly won’t hurt.