To assess for presence and change in TMD symptoms:
The TMJ Scale™ is a sophisticated diagnostic test. It collects information about physical symptoms and then analyzes this information to determine if the probability of a TMJ disorder is high. The TMJ Scale falls into the category of diagnostic tools called "psychometric tests." This type of testing instrument has a long history of use going back over 100 years. The scientific principals on which these tools are developed have evolved to a very high degree and this type of testing is presently used in medicine, dentistry and psychology. Click here to view an example report
How It Works?
The patient is tested with the TMJ Scale™ during the initial evaluation and then again during and/or after treatment. The two test results (10 scale scores) are then entered into TMJ/CompareTM and the resulting TMJ/Compare ReportTM calculates the percent (%) improvement on 10 vital scales. The results are also presented graphically for a convenient visual comparison. Click here to view an example report.
Why Use It?
1. Measure and quantify symptom change.
2. Track and insure treatment effectiveness.
3. Spot new, emerging problems.
4. Improve risk management.
5. Improve reimbursement.
Important: Failure to measure and document the presence and severity of symptoms both before and after treatment, poses a real risk to both the patient and treating clinician. Patients enter the healthcare system primarily due to the presence of symptoms. Treatment goals include amelioration not only of pathology and dysfunction, but also of symptoms. Clinicians can measure many aspects of pathology and dysfunction, but symptoms are a totally subjective experience and often not measured. Even when treatment effectively reduces or eliminates pathology and dysfunction, patients may continue to experience and report symptoms. They may then become dissatisfied with treatment and re-enter the healthcare system looking for relief. This poses a significant challenge and potential risk to the clinician and results in escalating costs to the patient, to 3rd party payers, and to the healthcare system in general.
Thorough determination of treatment effectiveness should always include measurement and documentation of symptom change. In addition to being clinically important and part of the standard of care, it can have a significant impact on 3rd party payers who look for careful documentation of symptom response to treatment as part of determining treatment outcome and maximum medical improvement.
One of the most unique aspects and primary uses of the TMJ ScaleTM is its ability to accurately and reliably measure and document symptom change over time. It was developed with this specific goal in mind. Ignoring this aspect of assessing treatment effectiveness and outcome can lead to unnecessary complications for both patient and clinician.
Patients cannot be expected to accurately and reliably measure and report how much pain, joint or other symptoms they now have relative to what they experienced 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, a year ago or longer. Symptoms are complex arrays of subjective experiences and sometimes quite elusive to accurately measure and document. In face-to-face encounters with their clinicians, patients may inadvertently over- or under-report symptoms or sometimes provide inaccurate information for a variety of reasons (see "Measuring Symptom Severity with the TMJ Scale", Spiegel and Levitt, J Clin Orthod 25(1) p.21-26, 1991).
Clinicians who understand these principals use the TMJ ScaleTM as part of the initial intake evaluation and then again during treatment and at completion. This allows thorough monitoring of treatment progress and careful documentation of outcome. The TMJ ScaleTM scores accurately and quantitatively measure and document the presence and severity of clinically significant symptoms both initially, during and after treatment based on a patient’s own responses to this highly developed and thoroughly researched assessment tool. It also has built in monitors to check for reliability of reporting. If later on during or after the course of treatment there is some disagreement as to what was experienced or reported, the presence of the TMJ Scale ReportTM provides essential documentation of what occurred.
Examples of published outcomes research studies using the TMJ Scale include references 12, 18, 22, 23, 24, 29, 31, 32-35, 37 in Scientific Publications.
Change in symptoms over time can be measured by comparing the scores from TMJ ScaleTM tests taken at different points in time. To simplify this process the 10 scale scores for two tests can be entered into TMJ/Compare™ which automatically calculates and reports the % change in symptom severity, indicates clinical significance, and provides a graphic plot of the results for easy visualization.