As both a dental expert witness and a top San Diego Dentist, Dr. George Georgaklis is highly regarded for his knowledge of TMJ Disorder (TMD). This condition, characterized by chronic jaw pain and headaches, is an often overlooked result of car accidents. It can appear by itself, or it may be accompanied by another condition. Because it often goes undiagnosed, many attorneys do not realize that a key piece of evidence is literally staring them in the face. Through an accurate evaluation, Dr. Georgaklis can diagnose the disorder and demonstrate its relevance to car accidents and personal injury law. He can also provide effective treatment for the patient, restoring his or her pre-accident quality of life.
How Car Accidents Cause TMD
The temporomandibular joints are quite complex. The TMJs, which control jaw motion, are connected to a complex system of muscles and ligaments. They also have an important relationship to the cervical muscles. Dysfunction in the neck and/or shoulders can lead to significant jaw pain. A car accident can cause TMJ Disorder in several ways. First, a blunt blow (such as the impact of an airbag) to the head can damage the joints. The cushioning discs inside may slip out of place, which will cause the two sides of the joints to grind together painfully. A blow can also strain the nearby muscles. Second, and more commonly, whiplash can lead to TMJ Disorder. It can tear the ligaments in the jaw and severely strain the jaw muscles. Because these muscles are in near-constant use, it is virtually impossible for the jaw to heal on its own.
Whatever the cause of TMJ Disorder, the condition can lead to a number of symptoms. These include:
- Jaw pain and stiffness
- Neck and shoulder pain
- The inability to open and close the mouth
- Ringing in the ears
- Tingling in the arms and hands
A Dental Expert Witness Uses TMD in Deposition and Court of Law
When he is presented with a potential case of TMD following a car accident, Dr. Georgaklis will first conduct a complete evaluation to confirm the presence of jaw dysfunction. He may take x-rays, conduct a manual exam, and look at past medical records. He will also discuss a patient’s symptoms and try to create a timeline of these symptoms in relation to the car wreck. In so doing, he can ascertain whether TMD is truly related to the accident. Dr. Georgaklis’ examination and testimony can be the linchpin in a personal injury case.
Treatment for TMD
Although he is enthusiastic about being a dental expert witness, Dr. Georgaklis is also passionate about patients in need. While examining a patient for legal purposes, he can also begin creating a treatment plan. In many cases, the treatment itself can be used as further evidence in a personal injury case. Oral splints are the most common treatment for TMJ Disorder. Other treatments could include orthodontia, restorative dentistry, chiropractic care, and medication.
Contact Dr. George Georgaklis
If you are looking for an outstanding dental expert witness with experience in both the legal field and the treatment of TMJ Disorder, contact Dr. Georgaklis’ office today.