Twenty-First Century TMD Protocols

Did you know that adults working full-time miss more work from head and face pain than any other site of pain? Orofacial pain interferes with eating, communication, personal expression and can deeply affect an individual’s functional and psychological well-being. The high prevalence, personal impact, and poor access to effective treatments creates an expanded role for dentists in today’s health care system.

Jeffery Taylor hands-on exercise

This two-day seminar is designed to give general dentists an evidence-based approach to diagnosing and treating temporomandibular disorders (TMD’s). The aim is to focus on new conceptual models for treating chronic illness and apply systematic therapeutic strategies for successful management of TMD’s. Replacing empirical knowledge with science-based knowledge will empower providers to greatly improve outcomes for patients struggling with these conditions.

Treatment of TMD’s, like many pain conditions is often singular and varied, and in large part is based on the clinician’s favorite theory of etiology. As a result, treatment outcomes are compromised, due to limited approaches that only address part of the problem. Appropriate treatment should be based on clearly defined treatment objectives that are consistent with a biologically-specific diagnosis in each patient. We should first determine where on the continuum a particular patient’s problem falls before deciding the treatment.
This requires a paradigm shift and a multidisciplinary approach.

Series Curriculum:

On Day 1 we will review head and neck anatomy, discuss the three main categories of TMD’s, comorbid conditions and contributing factors. Dr. Suzie Bergman, a TMD patient herself for over three decades, will share with you her unique perspective as both a patient and a provider. She will help you separate fact from fiction and recognize the importance for health professionals to be adequately trained in jaw pain disorders. SmileStream software has a TMJ Examination, which will be discussed in detail, and there will be a hands-on exercise for muscle palpation and mouth opening/excursive measurements. You will also learn about appropriate referrals and imaging.

Jeffery Taylor hands-on exercise

Day 1: TMD Fundamentals and Initial Exam Protocols

  • Head and neck anatomy review
  • TMD categories: Myofascial Pain, Internal Derangements of the TMJ, Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Effectiveness of pharmacologic agents for acute or chronic pain
  • Conservative management and behavior modifications you can teach patients
  • TMD screening and evaluation
  • Hands-On Exercise: muscle palpation and mouth opening/excursion measurements
  • Headache diagnosis and treatments the dentist can provide, including Botox®
  • Splint therapy: types to offer and ones to avoid
  • Developing a multidisciplinary team: referrals and follow-up
  • Imaging overview: what to look for on panoramic x-rays, CBCT and MRI

On Day 2 you will have the opportunity to see some cases treated using a multidisciplinary approach, and learn how partnering with physicians, oral surgeons and ancillary care providers can greatly benefit the patient. We will look at the role of the dentist in identifying simple vs. complex cases, and how case complexity changes the treatment approach. Advanced conservative management will be discussed, such as Botox, which is within the dentist’s realm to administer. We will then look at surgical staging, identify when patients require a surgical intervention and why. Additionally, you will learn about the impact of adverse events and complications, and what is being done to prevent these. Finally, you will hear about opportunities for clinicians and other stakeholders to affect change for patients suffering with these disorders.

Jeffery Taylor hands-on exercise

Day 2: The Multidisciplinary Approach, Advanced Conservative Management and Surgical Pathways

  • The four major types of pain: nocioceptive, inflammatory, neuropathic and functional
  • Diagnostic criteria for TMD’s: keys to establishing a biologically-specific diagnosis
  • Risk factors and protective factors contributing to case complexity
  • Treatments such as physical therapy, nutrition counseling and low-level laser therapy offered by allied health professionals
  • Overlapping conditions and their implications for successful management
  • History of TMJ surgeries and technological advances
  • Adverse events, complications and how these can be avoided
  • Opportunities for advancing the field of TMD treatment



Shockley Wier

Dr. Suzie Bergman graduated from West Virginia University School of Dentistry in 1994 and has focused the majority of her practice on Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics. Dr. Suzie graduated from Progressive Orthodontic Seminars in Aliso Viejo, CA with highest honors. She serves as an instructor and consultant for McGann Postgraduate School of Dentistry and Progressive Orthodontic Seminars. She finds restoring smiles extremely rewarding and loves seeing the confidence patients gain when their braces are removed.


  • 2023:
  • Webinar (Zoom) - November 11-12
  • Orange County, CA - November 11-12


  • $900
  • Early Registration: $850 by September 1, 2023