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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

[QUOTE=bittercritter;5200138]Still dealing with this problem. I went to the doctor a month ago and asked for a CT scan, the request form was sent to the nearby hospital.. presumably. The radiology department was to call me but it has been a month already. I feel that something is seriously wrong with me and I'm getting nowhere. Now I'm also getting pain in my tongue recently over the past few days and there's a small but strange looking white sore on the underside. For those of you who have had a CT scan or MRI, how long did you have to wait? What is the typical waiting time to be seen for these types of problems? I just don't understand what is taking so long, I feel like I'm being discriminated against. What do I say so that people will listen to me and understand that I have rights to receive timely services?[/QUOTE]

I think it depends on where you are. I know when I first had my MRI for TMJ in 2010 it was several months. I'm in Toronto, since then things have improved. I have another MRI scheduled this year and it was booked within a month (have it this week actually). I had CT Scan at a local hospital in 2011 and it also took a couple of months to get booked. Bug your family doctor to follow up to make sure there isn't any screw up in the paper work and ask your doctor to follow up since you haven't heard anything. Also once you do get your appointment - if its several months off - call the radiology deparment of the hospital regularly to see if there are any cancellations so you can get in earlier.

Another alternative is to go see an oral surgeon or a dentist specializing in oral and facial pain and see if they can refer you to a dental radiologist. I had a cone CT Scan done at private dental radiologist and it is very good. You have to pay for it - mine was about $235, but its fast - results are available on line - and they give pretty much the same information as a regular CT scan. The other advantage is that a dental radiologist specializes in jaw/teeth. My CT scan performed at the hospital was misread by the radiologist resulting in a misdiagnosis. Most doctors are not well versed in the jaw. When my TMJ first developed I went and saw my family doctor all she could do is prescribe muscle relaxants and told to go see my dentist. She said doctors don't treat TMJ - dentists do. Since then I've gotten the impression from my denstist (a specialist in oral and facial pain) and my oral surgeon that there are only a couple of radiologists at the local hospitals here in Toronto whom they respect when it comes to reading images of the jaw.

Hang in - you are not being discriminated - you're just experiencing our woefully underfunded public health system.
[QUOTE=bittercritter;5200539]Does a cone beam CT scan look at the entire head? I have a few masses and I want to make sure all areas are evaluated, one is behind my ear, one under my chin and the other (a very tiny lump) is on my cheekbone.[/QUOTE]

I am sorry for what you are going through I know this very difficult. I think you need to clarify with your doctor what the CT scan will be looking at - my experience is that the CT scan focuses in on the particular part of the body in question. So i think you need to make it very clear that you want all of these masses evaluated. It is also critical to understand whether the doctor thinks these masses are soft tissue or bone. A CT scan is good only bone; they don't image soft tissue well.
For soft tissue the alternatives are ultrasounds or MRIs. An ultrasound usually is done at radiology clinics and are much quicker. Depending upon what the ultrasound shows you might want to ask for an MRI.

The cone CT scan I had done was of my left and right jaw. There is also a 360 degree panoramic xray (I forget the name of what its called) that dentists also do to look at the jaw.

Go see your doctor - talk about whether their some drug that can be prescribed to temporarily manage the pain. You should also talk to him about the white sore under tonge.

If its going to take 3 months to get a CT scan and if haven't had ultrasound or panoramic xray or Ct Cone Scans, then I would explore these other options.

But keep following up with radiologist department - maybe there will be cancellations.

Also if this is TMJ you need to see dentist that specializes in Oral and Facial Pain - MDs in Canada know nothing about the TMJ.

Take care and hang in. I know this is frustrating and difficult.

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