From the Forum – TMJ Specialist?

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TMJ Specialist?:

“I’ve been struggling with TMJ for almost 15 years but recently it’s started to get bad. Does anyone here have a recommendation for a TMJ specialist in the DC metro? I’m looking for one that preferably takes medical insurance. I’ve obviously been to my dentist and have the standard splint but I’m looking for something a bit more. Thanks!”

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6 Comment

  • I had issues with tmj for 15ears. Went through mouth guards, specialty retainers/splints, not eating a lot of foods ( no bagels, steak etc.), painkillers, popping, locked jaw etc. Etc. Finally had an mri and surgery. The synovial discs were no longer in place so my jaw was sitting bone on bone. I’ve been 90% pain free for 8 years. My doctor was in nova, Dr Jeffery Rothman (father/son practice, i used the son). Covered by insurance because it was considered medical And the office was great about making sure the claim was filed correctly.

  • I had amazing success many years ago in Austin with physical therapy to treat my TMJ. Might be worth getting a prescription from your GP for PT on your jaw. They use pressure point therapy and give you helpful excercises to release the tension in your jaw and connecting tissue in your neck.

  • I go to Bethesda TMJ and see Dr. Sarit Kaplan. She is great, and the practice takes many different types of insurance. I’ve been both for preventive visits and emergency visits (lockjaw, anyone?) and have always been seen quickly and on-time. I have an appliance made in the office, and they are definitely focused on continual improvement and changing your bite in a way to minimize problems, not jumping to cosmetic procedures or pain management only.

  • I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been suffering from TMJ pain for so long. I am a physical therapist and the owner of DC Physical Therapy (DCPT) in Dupont Circle. DCPT is a outpatient clinic specializing in orthopedic manual therapy and offers effective treatment for conservative management of TMJ dysfunction. Often times, with TMJ, the muscles around the jaw can become very tight and develop painful trigger points, which can be the origin of the pain. At DCPT, we provide hands-on manual therapy, corrective exercises, and patient education through one-on-one, individualized treatment services. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit our website at

  • I’m unfortunately one of those horror-story-close-to-worst-case-scenario-dislocated-jaw patients and I’ve been going to Dr. Piontkowski at the Washington TMJ & Sleep Therapy Center in Bethesda. He planned a slow and steady treatment that helped me avoid surgery, got me out of incapacitating pain quickly, and is fixing the damage done by my childhood orthodontist. They don’t take insurance directly, but the staff prepared the paperwork so I could submit. Please please please go (to whomever you choose!) sooner than later! Sending healing thoughts your way!

  • Dr. William Chmar in Rockville (301-468-1808) helped me a lot. I had been to a lot of dentists and orthodontists, and all were pretty perplexed by the various interacting issues I was having with my ears, jaw, and teeth. He was able to make me a custom mouthguard (over the course of various visits and adjustments, admittedly) that’s kept me relatively issue-free for about six years now.

    I’m not sure what the insurance situation would be. In my case, it wasn’t covered at all, but he only charged me a relatively low one-time mouthguard fee that covered all subsequent adjustments and follow-on visits.

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