Frequently Asked Questions


What is TMJ?

TMJ refers to the  temporomandibular joint which is the jaw joint on either side of the face. However, most people refer to TMJ as a diagnosis of  the medical term known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, TMD. TMJ or TMD is an umbrella term for a complex myriad of symptoms that occur when the jaw joints and associated muscles are disrupted. It is very common and can lead to symptoms such as headaches, face pain, jaw pain, neck ache, back ache, ear pain, tinnitus and  much more.


Does TMJ Treatment require surgery? 

Research shows that up to 95% of those suffering from TMJ/TMD should be and can be treated WITHOUT surgery. All authorities agree that surgery should be the last resort. 


Is your treatment covered by Medicare or medical or insurance?

Unfortunately Medicare  does not help cover TMJ/ Sleep apnoea treatment. If you have private health cover there are dental and chiropractic item numbers that can be used to help make a claim. Every health fund has different levels of cover so it is worthwhile checking with your health fund to see what is covered


What type of jaw issues do you treat?

At TMJ Centre Melbourne we will treat any kind of jaw issues including, pain, jaw locking, and if appropriate jaw noises. We also treat overstretched ligaments with Prolo therapy. Muscle pain is treated with bite plates/ orthotics, chiropractic, trigger point, and laser therapy. Our goal is to help you get your life back without the use of drugs.



What happens during the TMD treatment process?

Depending on your diagnosis you may need a combination of bite plates, laser, trigger point, cranial, and chiropractic care. For those with more severe/ long term symptoms we usually see individuals every two weeks for about 3 months, which how long it takes to  heal most joints in the body


HOW MUCH IS AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT ?

The cost is $ 365 for a one hour consultation with Dr Dowker ( chiropractor / cranial specialist) and Dr Shah (TMJ dentist). 


Can you make headaches and other symptoms disappear?

Many studies have shown considerable improvement or complete elimination of headaches at the back of the head (occipital) and temple headaches when TMJ/TMD is properly treated. Leaders in the field of TMD recognise that up to 85% of headaches are due to muscular issues.  TMJ disorder involves complex relationships between teeth, muscles, jaw joints, cranium, neck, brain, balance, postural stability and the nervous system. Therefore when something goes wrong it can have far reaching consequences beyond jaw pain, such as dizziness, tinnitus, ear pain/stuffiness, lower back pain, irritable bowels, difficulty sleeping and eventually fatigue and depression. At TMJ Centre Melbourne, through our Holistic combined approach of Dr Shah and Dr Dowker we have helped hundreds get their life back.


How does An Orthotic device alleviate TMJ?

An orthotic device or bite plate only works if it has been made to the exact position for each individual. The combined 45 years of experience in treating TMJ of Dr Shah and Dr Dowker has allowed them to develop techniques that makes sure your orthotic allows your jaw and neck to be at their most relaxed position. Once the orthotic is working Dr Dowker is able to treat the rest of the body and allow you to start healing yourself.