As an oral-maxillofacial surgeon, Rocky Cullens, DDS, provides treatment for disorders and traumas of the mouth, face, and jaw. Currently a senior staff member, Dr. Rocky Cullens also leads as president and owner of Tulsa Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Inc.
Surgery can be a key element of treatment for temporomandibular disorder (TMD), particularly when the condition has not responded to other treatment options. Before recommending surgery, a doctor is likely to confirm that the condition does indeed stem from an abnormality of the jaw, rather than of the surrounding soft tissues, as myofascial conditions respond less well to surgical treatment. Similarly, a conscientious surgeon will investigate whether the joint abnormality is the root cause of the condition, lest the problem recur.
Temporomandibular joint surgery may be performed arthroscopically, a process that requires a small cut through which the surgeon places a special instrument equipped with a camera and light. The camera system allows the surgeon to use extremely small instruments to make the necessary adjustments to bone or cartilage in the jaw. However, if this type of surgery has failed in the past, or if the joint has significant damage, degeneration, or presents tumors, the surgeon may choose to perform an open procedure.