Advanced tools get to the source of TMJ Dysfunction for effective treatment, pain relief in Chesterland, OH

Chronic headaches, radiating facial pain, jaw stiffness, and other symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, can be effectively treated at our first-class “home” for all your family’s oral health needs. But TMJ Dysfunction Treatment in Chesterland, OH, starts with advanced diagnostics, which accurately tell Dr. Brianne (“Dr. Bri”) Fratantonio and her team about the nature of your symptoms.

TMJ Scale™

At Chesterland Family Dental Care, we lean on sophisticated tools such as the TMJ Scale™, a standardized method of assessing facial pain and TMJD-related symptoms. It has been used to successfully evaluate for the presence (and severity of) TMJD, and to measure and monitor treatment outcomes among hundreds of thousands of patients over the past 25-plus years. The TMJ Scale™ test spans almost 100 items and can be used to screen for additional conditions or factors that are often associated with TMJD, including chronic stress. This well-established and accurate testing protocol informs our treatment recommendations. By pinpointing the severity of physical symptoms, such as limits on the range of motion and pain upon palpating or touch, we can also identify patients who have or are at an elevated risk of developing “complicating” physical challenges and persistent conditions.

Multi-faceted treatment, designed around you

Depending on what we find during your evaluation, recommendations to relieve pain and alleviate other symptoms can vary considerably from patient to patient. Generally, any factor that places excessive force or stress on the jaw joints can give rise to TMJD pain and disability. We may find that the source of your pain is rooted in:

  • Wear and tear or erosion of the tissues that support the joint
  • Damage or injury to the joint itself
  • Arthritis
  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Long-term teeth-grinding and jaw-clenching (bruxism)
  • Worn dental restorations
  • Misalignment and bite problems

If, for instance, the excessive forces placed on the teeth and jaws from bruxism are contributing to your TMJD, we can recommend oral appliances or nightguards. A nightguard slips over your teeth to protect them from damage. It also cushions the teeth and surrounding tissues from the extreme pressure that is placed on them by grinding and clenching behaviors. Orthodontics, too, reposition the teeth and support a healthier position that eases the undue stress placed on the jaw. As practitioners of neuromuscular dentistry, we have advanced training and tools to pinpoint the jaw position that promotes muscular relaxation and rest. In doing so, balance among the teeth, muscles, jaws, and joints is restored, and TMJD symptoms are dramatically reduced, if not eliminated.

Learn more about TMJ/TMD and other advanced dental care technologies

Call (440) 491-4001 to schedule an appointment

Reduce your reliance on pain meds. Get “real” treatment and relief. Call (440) 491-4001 to schedule your TMJ test at Chesterland Family Dental Care, serving families in Hunting Valley, Gates Mills, Chardon, Munson, Kirtland, Russell, Chagrin Falls, Novelty, Mayfield, and the surrounding communities.


TMJ is the little joint that connects your jaw to the rest of your skull. Most people have perfectly healthy and functional TMJs, but when this joint becomes dysfunctional, it may cause various issues that can ruin your life.

TMJ dysfunction can cause popping and clicking in your jaw, pain, and discomfort at the site, headaches that extend across your arm, and difficulty eating.

Wear and tear or erosion of the tissues that support the joint, arthritis, connective tissue problems, joint damage or injury, long-term teeth-grinding and jaw-clenching (bruxism), misalignment, worn dental restorations, and bite abnormalities.

Your jaw will be visually and physically evaluated during your visit. Any swelling symptoms on either jaw are evaluated. Your jaw is gently pressed to assess your discomfort. The pops and clicks associated with TMJ disorder that occurs when opening and closing your mouth are monitored.

Treatment options include dietary adjustments or quitting chewing gum. Oral appliances or night guards may be helpful if you grind your teeth. Orthodontics, too, repositions teeth and supports a healthy position, relieving unnecessary tension on the jaw. In extreme situations of TMJ dysfunction, you may need surgery.

Brianne R. Fratantonio, MA, DMD
Nicholas R. Fratantonio, DDS, FAGD
Trudy Amstadt, DDS

Brianne R. Fratantonio, MA, DMD, earned her dental degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and her Bachelor of Science and Masters in Biology from John Carroll University. She is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), Ohio Dental Association (ODA), American Academy of Facial Esthetics, Straight Wire Orthodontic Studies, Engel Institute of Dental Implants, and Dental XP Externship. She is passionate about providing general dentistry services and building lasting patient relationships.

Nicholas R. Fratantonio, DDS, FAGD, received his postgraduate training at Case Western Reserve University Dental School. He is a member of the ADA, ODA, Northeast Ohio Dental Society, International Association of Orthodontics, American Orthodontic Society, American Association of Functional Orthodontics, and International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics, a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, and a Past President of the Northeastern Ohio Neuromuscular Study Club.

Trudy Amstadt, DDS, is a graduate of the School of Dental Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. She has followed advanced courses in cosmetic dentistry, dentures, crowns and bridges, occlusion, and neuromuscular dentistry. She has memberships with the American Dental Society, ODA, GCDS0, and various study clubs.