#75 TMD is an Orphan Disease

In his book, “Mistreated, Why We Think We’re Getting Good Health Care, and Why We’re Usually Wrong”, Dr Robert Pearl M.D., retired CEO of Kaiser-Permanente Health Care System, describes why sepsis (infection) is an orphan disease even though it is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality.  Within the practice of medicine, physicians concentrate their efforts fighting cancer, heart disease, immune disorders, and many others, routinely avoiding learning to fight sepsis which is an integral result of the primary disease.  When sepsis is eventually noted as part of the parent disease, the problem is handed off to the infectious disease specialist, the equivalent of foster care, when the original parent can’t or does not want to care for that portion of the disease.  In this manner, sepsis is considered an Orphan disease.  No one really wants to take responsibility for it and would prefer someone else to maintain responsibility.

TMD/TMJ is likewise an orphan disease.

Dentists are trained to diagnose dental caries, periodontal disease, oral lesions, and malocclusions, along with the appropriate surgical and non-surgical treatment solutions.  But, when it comes to TMD/TMJ, dentists don’t want anything to do with it.  Across the board, they want someone else to deal with it.  Dentists want someone else to take the problem off their hands.  TMD/TMJ is an Orphan Disease.

I have written before regarding reasons dentists don’t want to take responsibility for a disease included in their area of concern.  Pain, discomfort, and disfunction of the chewing mechanism is one of the primary symptoms of TMD/TMJ, and parallels and is often confused with other diseases of dental origin.  Yet dentists maintain “Willful Ignorance” in this area.  Yet patients continue to flood the dental offices with symptoms self-diagnosed or diagnosed by others expecting the dentist to provide appropriate treatment.

If ever there was an example of, “Mistreated, Why We Think We’re Getting Good Health Care, and Why We’re Usually Wrong”, the dental profession’s lack of interest in TMD/TMJ is legend.


Righting this wrong, solving this problem, and changing the direction and momentum of the dental profession is like changing the course of an oil super tanker using a canoe paddle as the rudder and a bicycle as the engine.  The volume of fixed ideas, misconceptions, and misinformation regarding TMD/TMJ is monumental.

It’s not that we, here at TMJ Services, are not trying to make those changes.  The discoveries made, culminating in the Urbanek Device and Protocol, have now been validated by independent university studies, over 4000 successfully treated patients, and noted favorably by the dental industry establishment.

The Urbanek Device and Protocol has recently been named as one of the top 5 products in its category by “Dental Products Report”.  Dentists throughout the United States are now asking to be added to the list of providers licensed to use our FDA cleared, patented Urbanek Device and Protocol.

Here, in the Nashville area and throughout Middle Tennessee, our work solving the TMD/TMJ conundrum is becoming increasingly well-known and accepted as the most successful method to treat this devastating disease.  Our practice, TMJ Services of Brentwood, currently has a referral base of over 850 physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, chiropractors, physical therapists, and convenient care clinics sending patients for consultation and treatment.

TMD/TMJ does not have to continue as an Orphan Disease.  Any interested dentist can learn how to treat this problem by taking an on-line course learning all that is necessary to treat TMD/TMJ in the same way we do in Brentwood.

If your dentist would like to extend the service he/she offers by learning how to use the Urbanek Device and Protocol and join the network of dentists throughout the country doing the same, tell them to give us a call.  I and my team are ready to bring TMD/TMJ home from the orphanage.