Dr. Giordano’s method of treating TMJ is in a class by itself. I discovered this after 40 years of pain, treatment attempts by four other dentists, and more consultations than I can count.
Headaches and neck pain were a permanent part of my life for decades. Every day was a balancing act between how much pain I could tolerate and how much ibuprofen I dared take. I have a drawer full of useless appliances, a few of which actually provided temporary relief, especially if I didn’t need to eat or talk. I have a sleep disorder which was finally diagnosed, after 3 sleep studies, as “alpha intrusions”. I never went into a deep sleep because I had to monitor my sleeping position to avoid waking up with an excruciating headache.
The dental specialists I was referred to recommended jaw-breaking (literally) surgical solutions that sounded like they could create even more painful problems. My family dentist discouraged me from seeing Dr. Giordano, saying he was just a “regular dentist”, not a specialist. I understand now that is only because treating TMJ problems is not considered a specialty.
Then I went to another dentist who promised relief without surgery, and who delivered, almost immediately, a temporary devise. But that devise needed to be replaced almost weekly. The temporary period of waiting for my TMJ position to stabilize stretched into many months, then 2 years, with regular treatments and payments. When it became apparent that a long term solution was not forthcoming, I renewed my search for help.
Sometimes I didn’t get past the initial phone call. “Your back teeth don’t meet? Oh no, we don’t treat problems that serious.” One refused to see me without a referral from the dentist currently “treating” me, the one with the permanently temporary plan. The dentists I did see indicated that my bite was amongst the worst they had ever seen, and declined to treat me for fear of undoing the progress I had made.
I was referred to Strong Memorial hospital in Rochester, to a dentist who was billed as a highly respected expert in TMJ problems. He recommended that since my pain level was now tolerable, I should just continue to wear the appliance I had. Meanwhile, his students lined up the assortment of appliances I’d brought to show him what didn’t work, and took pictures.
When I met Dr. Giordano, I asked my usual question, “Is this the worst bite you’ve ever seen?” He was the first dentist to say, “Not even close”. (His assistant assured me that her bite had the dubious honor.) His exam was also unique. In addition to taking x-rays, he touched every muscle in my head, neck and shoulders, finding sore spots I had ignored for years. He wiggled each tooth, finding too many loose.
Dr. Giordano suggested that I needn’t settle for just keeping pain to a tolerable level; I might live without pain. He was right. My ibuprofen consumption has dropped from 4-6 tablets a day to 1 or 2 a month, usually for something other than my TMJ. My chiropractic visits for neck adjustments have dwindled to zero. I can sleep on my left side for the first time in 40 years.
There were blips in my progress, as one might expect in addressing a long term problem. Many patient, meticulous adjustments were required before my orthotic consistently relieved my pain. More adjustments were needed over time. Sometimes an adjustment would feel “wrong” at first, triggering pain and the panicked feeling that all my progress would be lost. Usually within a few days my jaw would settle to a new and more comfortable position. If not, Dr. Giordano “adjusted the adjustment”.
I am still comfortably wearing the first orthotic that Dr. Giordano made for me 3 years ago, and I am confident that when it wears out he will produce another successful one. My only complaint is that he has not yet promised me that he will never retire!”