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My dentist made me a night guard. Doesn’t that do the same thing?

No. A night guard is designed to prevent you from grinding your teeth together at night. People who grind their teeth during their sleep can do serious damage to their teeth by wearing down the enamel over time. Once the enamel is ground off the process accelerates and worsens.

Your whole tooth is not made of enamel. It’s only on the outer millimeter or so of the tooth. The inner part of the tooth is a material called dentin. It’s much softer and more porous. Once the enamel is gone on the biting surface, the dentin wears away much faster so the whole process gets worse and worse.

So the night guard is designed to slow down this destructive process. The thinking goes like this: It’s better to wear down and trash a few hundred dollar piece of plastic every few years and replace it, then to continue to damage the teeth themselves. So at least for eight hours out of every twenty-four, you can’t do any damage. But here’s the problem…

It’s not designed or capable of treating or correcting TMJ pain or its related problems such as clicking, jaw popping, headaches, migraines, facial pain, ear pain, dizziness, ringing in the ears, neck pain, etc. It doesn’t correct the relationship of the lower jaw to the upper jaw. It doesn’t correct the bad bite.

So a night guard is to prevent grinding at night. That’s it. It’s not for treating complex pain or functional issues of the head and neck. It won’t work.



So how do I know if you can actually help me?

Obviously, we’re going to need to see you first to determine that. But, we’ve helped countless other people with conditions probably pretty similar to yours.

Many of them felt their situation was hopeless – but they discovered we were able to get them the results they’d always hoped were possible.

The medical science that worked for them probably can work for you too. Muscle is muscle. Physiology is physiology. We’re all cut from the same stock.

Why not take a few minutes and read about their experiences? One may be just like yours. Click here »



Tell me… what makes Dr. Abeles so special?

Well, we’re all special in some way aren’t we? It just so happens that Dr. Abeles’ passion and calling in life is treating patients who are struggling with chronic pain.

He’s got to be doing something right for so many people to trust him and seek him out from all over the United States. He’s been an expert commentator on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and CNN television. He’s written articles on the subject for Forbes, USA Today, Women’s Health, The Boston Globe, The Miami Herald, The Denver Post, CNBC and many more.

He has an Amazon Bestseller – Break Away: The New Method for Treating Chronic Headaches, Migraines and TMJ Without Medication.

His book is given to every new doctor who enters The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies as a reference guide to treating these disorders.

He’s on the faculty of one of the world’s leading think tanks for the treatment of chronic pain. He’s on the medical advisory board for Solace Lifesciences.

So, is he special? Well, his wife thinks so. His kids think so. His patients think so. His team members think so. The rest is up to you to find out and decide for yourself.

Click here to find out more about Dr. Abeles »



My dentist made me this little device that fits over just my front teeth so they can’t touch. She said that would cure my tmj problems. It helped for a week or two but now I’m back where I started and my teeth are getting sore. What happened?

The device your dentist made is called an NTI. They merely take a mould of the upper and lower teeth and send a prescription to a dental laboratory asking them to make an NTI. That’s all that’s necessary.

So the NTI is very popular because it requires no advanced study and training to utilize it. The average general or cosmetic dentist has little interest in treating complex pain and TMJ functional issues of the head and neck. That’s not what they deal with on a regular basis, but they still want to try to help their patients and not have to refer them out to a TMJ specialist. It’s quick and cheap to fabricate.

That’s all fine except the NTI, if worn for an extended period of time, can cause an ‘open bite.’ That’s when our back teeth hit together and the front ones are wide apart and don’t touch at all. The NTI is acceptable as a ‘quick-fix’ however there are better ‘quick fixes’ in our opinion and it can help for a few days or weeks because it prevents the teeth from coming together. It helps to temporarily shut down the action of the masseter and pterygoid muscles that may be contributing to the pain. If you have one, do not wear it for an extended period of time, such as months. It can eventually open up your bite and will not definitively cure your TMJ pain and problem.

The Atlanta Center for TMJ can help you with your TMJ pain relief. Let the Atlanta Center for TMJ help you with your TMJ pain and TMJ symptoms.

Ask your dentist how many years of advanced post-graduate study they’ve invested specifically in the treatment of TMJ, head and neck anatomy, physiology, TMJ therapy, TMJ pain management, bite analysis for TMJ and where they received their training. Most general dentists choose to focus their expertise in other areas of practice.

It’s important to seek care with someone who specializes in TMJ related problems, who has advanced training and experience in treating tmj disorders and the host of related problems it spawns. Unfortunately, the field narrows quickly if you look closely.

The vast majority of our profession just does not treat advanced, complex TMJ problems on a daily basis. It’s not their “thing.” Whether you choose The Atlanta Center for TMJ or anyone else to diagnose and treat your TMJ related problem, please be careful and discerning in your selection.


Contact the Atlanta Center for TMJ today to start controlling your TMJ pain and to receive TMJ treatment.



Will my insurance pay for it?

Most major medical plans will pay a benefit towards treatment. The exact amount they pay is dependent on your plan and its provisions. Effective July 1, 1994, Georgia law prohibited health insurance policies from excluding medically necessary surgical or nonsurgical treatment for correction of TMD by physicians or dentists. We have this statement placed on the bottom of the superbill that The Atlanta Center for TMJ submits to your insurance company.

Although the amount varies, over ninety percent of our patients receive some sort of reimbursement on their plan. We will “go to the wall” for you on your behalf as an advocate to assist you with getting the maximum benefit your insurance company will pay, but ultimately we cannot control them and their policies and they cannot control us.

To be clear, the insurance companies desire to minimize treatment and payment liability for any medical procedure. The more they collect in premiums and the less they pay out in claims – the more money they make for their stockholders. They are in the insurance business, not the medical or dental profession.

Our purpose is not aligned with theirs. Our purpose is to rehabilitate our patients to the highest degree possible in the least amount of time. Our diagnosis and treatment plan is not dictated or controlled by any insurance company. It is designed with only one principle – to provide the absolute finest care possible for those patients who have entrusted us with their health and well-being.

Individuals who have given up responsibility for their own health and look entirely to their insurance company to keep them healthy and pay 100% for treatment – best of luck. We are not for you.

For further information on this subject click the three links below:

TM Treatment and Third Party Coverage »

Bulletin No.83E2 from Insurance Commissioner State of Georgia RE: Treatment of Orofacial Pain »

Notice to Patient and Third Party Insurer »



What makes the Atlanta Center for TMJ different from other dentists or TMJ specialists?

There are seven points for you to consider:

  • This is our main focus and our calling. It’s what we do every day. We love helping our patients conquer their pain and dysfunction that no one else has been able to help with.
  • We have the training. We’ve invested years in the most advanced training in the field of headaches, temporomandibular joint dysfunction and its many symptoms.
  • We teach it. Dr. Abeles is on the faculty of the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, one of the premier post-graduate dental teaching centers in the world today. He’s their Regional Director and Clinical Instructor.
  • We’ve invested in the most sophisticated state-of-the-art technology and diagnostic equipment to diagnose and treat your problem. Computer generated 3-D tomography, computerized mandibular scanning, electromyography, transcutaneous neural stimulation, sonography, joint vibration analysis, pulsed radio frequency stimulation, ultrasound and more.
  • We have the experience. We’ve been providing TMJ treatment and therapy for decades with a combined thirty-five years plus of experience treating complex disorders of the head and neck.
  • We care deeply about our patients and their challenges. You cannot hide behind technology or fake true empathy and compassion. We humbly submit that you will know on a deep level that Dr. Abeles and Angie care about you and the result they achieve for you.
  • We get results and back it up with a money-back guarantee. The treatment works. If it didn’t, and all we did was give refunds, we wouldn’t be in practice very long.



I’ve already been to several other doctors and TMJ specialists and no one seems to be able to really help me. Why is this so hard to treat?

Jaw pain, clicking, popping joints and limitation in opening are relatively easy to identify as a tmj disorder. However headaches, migraines, ear congestion, vertigo, tinnitus and other diffuse head and neck pain are not so easily identified and may be treated by other health professionals as a different condition. Often, an actual diagnosis is never made and instead drugs are prescribed to provide symptomatic relief.

The key is to make a proper diagnosis. From the diagnosis the correct treatment options to improve or correct your condition can be made. At the Atlanta Center for TMJ this has always been our approach to care.



Will I need surgery?

Surgery is the means of last resort. Since ninety percent of pain originates in the muscles, there are many options to relieve pain and improve function without having to resort to surgery. Our neuromuscular approach to therapy is designed to get your muscles comfortable and relieve symptoms without surgery.



What will a TMJ specialist do that everyone else won’t do?

A TMJ specialist will:

– Look at your temporomandibular joint with advanced imaging. A standard Panorex type x-ray scan will not do. Whether you have an MRI, a CT scan or computerized tomograms taken – you will require a proper and detailed image of your joints.

– Not propose to treat your symptoms with a night guard. As mentioned previously, a night guard’s primary purpose is to protect tooth enamel from wearing away. It is not an orthopedic device to correct symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

– Closely assess the function of your head, neck and mandible. All of these structures are related, and each in turn, affects the function of the other two. There are many diagnostic tests too numerous to list here, but let it suffice to say that if you are in the right hands, they will be gathering detailed data on the function of all of these structures.

– Focus on the muscles of your head and neck. Think about it. Everything that moves, that grinds, that clicks – is all controlled by the muscles that act upon that structure. Muscles create 90 percent of our pain, so a TMJ specialist will be laser-focused on improving muscle function.

– Work with objective data gleaned from your examination and physiological assessment. A TMJ specialist will not merely offer a subjective opinion.

– Disclose your actual diagnosis before proceeding with treatment. Treatment offered without diagnosis is simply a hopeful shot in the dark.

– Have spent many years and thousands of hours studying the complexities of the human body in producing pain or dysfunction. Medical specialties evolved out of necessity. No one individual can possess the knowledge and experience to excel in all aspects of care. They had to choose their niche. The same principle applies here.

– Give you realistic expectations for symptom resolution. They will not promise the moon and the stars to magically resolve all your pain any more than a rheumatologist or neurologist working with chronic pain patients will offer complete resolution.

– Have higher fees. Who costs more – a family practice MD or a plastic surgeon?

– Have a high degree of empathy. The human condition is fragile, especially when subjected to daily, recurring pain. A TMJ specialist should demonstrate the same degree of empathy as if the roles were reversed and it was he or she seeking treatment.

– I could go on and on listing the different approach to care provided by a TMJ specialist versus a generalist. Basically, your decision of who to select to resolve your problem can be approached in the same manner you would if you had a chronic, severe pain in your knee.

Who would you select to treat you – your family physician or an orthopedic specialist who limits their practice exclusively to the treatment of the knee? It’s your choice.

My purpose in answering this question for you was not to influence you to come to see us at the Atlanta Center for TMJ. My purpose was to give you a bit of clarity, to see that instead of chasing around with every remedy proposed by every health professional – if your hip is giving you pain – see a hip specialist. If your TMJ is giving you pain or headaches – see a TMJ specialist.

Contact the Atlanta Center for TMJ today to start controlling your TMJ pain and to receive TMJ treatment.