The TMJ Scale™

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Summary: The TMJ Scale™helps provide a comprehensive, multi-dimensional evaluation of both the physical and psychosocial symptoms associated with temporomandibular disorders (‘TMJ’), craniofacial pain and dysfunction.

This self-report, psychometrically developed symptom assessment instrument is also useful to: screen for TM Disorders; measure overall and individual physical symptom intensity; measure facial, head and neck pain; measure symptom change and patient progress over time; and measure/document treatment outcome. It helps screen for non-TM disorder complicating illnesses, elevated psychological distress and stress states, and the presence or tendency of the patient to develop chronic problems.

The TMJ Scale™ is used by dentists, physicians, psychologists, pain management specialists and other licensed medical professionals in a variety of medical settings, as well as for research purposes. It has found widespread use primarily by dentists specializing in the evaluation and treatment of facial pain and TM disorders. General dentists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists and prosthodontists also employ this clinical tool for a variety of purposes, including screening patients, ruling out TM disorders and to help make referrals. Psychologists who test and/or treat patients with facial pain and TM disorders as well as neurologists, neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, family practice and physicians in rehabilitation medicine can effectively employ this clinical tool.

It can be used for:

* General screening for or to confirm the presence/absence of a

   TM Disorder

* Quantify the overall symptom severity of a TM Disorder

Identify and measure clinically significant physical symptoms

* Measure severity of head and facial pain

Initial evaluation of TMD patients at intake

Screen for non-TM disorders

Identify psychological problems and elevated stress

Alert for the potential for a chronic disorder

* Objective, quantitative method of symptom measurement

Monitor treatment progress

Measure and Document treatment outcome

Risk Management

Important: please read about the importance of documenting symptom severity both before and after treatment (click here).

New Users: To Register your new account now and receive Two (2) FREE TMJ Scale (tm) Scorings and One (1) FREE Chronic Pain Battery (tm) Scoring click here

Outline Facts:

Used with:  Individuals 13 years and older

Reading Level:  8th grade

Time for Completion:  15-20 minutes

Administration Format:  paper-and-pencil or on-line by computer

To see the TMJ Scale™ printable question/answer booklet >click here

To see an example of the on-line questions/answers >click here

Report Format:

Summary - a brief interpreted overview of the results

Narrative interpretive - description of results for each scale, indicating clinical significance, rank order of significance and specification of individual symptoms

Graphic plot (TMJ Scale Profile) - presents a graphic profile of normalized T-Scores and Percentile Ranks for all 9 Symptom Dimensions and for the Global Scale based on non-patient norms. The T-Scores and Percentile Ranks for the remaining norm groups are printed at the back of the report.

To see a sample TMJ Scale Report™ and Guide to Interpretation >Click here

Scoring Method:  On-line

Scales Reported:  9 primary Symptom Dimensions and 1 Global Index

Physical Symptoms Scales:

* Pain Report (PR)

* Paplation Pain (PP)

* Perceived Malocclusion (MO)

* Joint Dysfunction (JD)

* Range of Motion Limitation (RL)

* Non-TM Disorder (NT)

Psychosocial Symptom Scales:

* Psychological Factors (PF)

* Stress (ST)

* Chronicity (CN)

Global Index:

* Global Scale (GS), designed to be the most accurate predictor for presence or absence of a TM disorder and to measure its overall intensity

Normative Groups:

* Adult TMD patients, Adult non-TMD dental patients, Adult non-patients

* Separate normative databases are used for males and females to improve accuracy

* Studies indicate that the instrument’s accuracy is maintained in adolescent (13-19) and elderly (60+) populations.

Special Features:

* The TMJ Scale test contains only 97 items and can be completed in 15-20 minutes   

* The test measures 9 primary symptom dimensions, 6 physical and 3 psychosocial, and is designed to provide an overview of a  patient’s clinically significant symptoms and their intensity

* By measuring symptom intensity, the results help facilitate treatment decisions and identify patients who may already have or develop complicating physical and/or chronic problems

* The Global Scale can be used as an overall indicator for the presence and intensity of a TM disorder

* Produces reliable and highly accurate documentation for the medical/dental record

* Used as an outcome measure, it helps determine maximum medical/dental benefit from treatment

* Exceptionally high published sensitivity and specificity across diverse populations

* Based on extremely large normative databases

* Successfully employed on hundreds of thousands of patients since 1986

* More than 15,000 patients have been studied in over 40 published research protocols demonstrating the reliability, validity, sensitivity, specificity and usefulness of the TMJ Scale.

New Users: To Register your new account now and receive Two (2) FREE TMJ Scale Scorings and One (1) FREE Chronic Pain Battery Scoring click here

General Discussion

WHAT IS IT? The TMJ Scale™ is the most widely-used, standardized method for quantitatively assessing TM disorder symptoms, including facial pain, and measuring treatment outcome. The TMJ ScaleTM is a patient completed diagnostic test. It has been successfully used on hundreds-of-thousands of patients over the past 25 years and has the highest published accuracy of any similar test (88-93%). Its validity, reliability, sensitivity, specificity and predictive values have been extensively studied in a wide variety of clinical populations and documented in at least thirty six publications in some of the most highly respected peer-reviewed scientific journals.

The TMJ Scale accurately identifies the presence of a TM disorder and measures its overall severity. In addition, it measures the various physical symptoms including facial pain, joint dysfunction and range of motion limitation, among others. It has found widespread use clinically as an important pain measurement tool. In addition, it screens for psychological problems, elevated stress levels, the presence of non-TM disorders and chronic problems. This comprehensive, multi-dimensional assessment tool contributes to diagnostic decision making and helps document the patient’s initial problems, treatment effectiveness and treatment outcome. It also assists with referrals and is a highly valuable risk management tool.

Used at the initial evaluation and then during and/or after treatment, the TMJ Scale measures and documents symptom improvement over time and the resulting final outcome. The resulting TMJ Scale Report™ includes a fully interpreted narrative report and summary along with a graphic plot of 10 scale scores comparing the patient’s results to various clinical populations. It is an extremely valuable, almost indispensable, addition to clinical documentation and for legal purposes and risk management. It is often used in TMJ injury litigation.

Over the years, the TMJ Scale has been the subject of numerous peer-reviewed scientific research publications in universities, dental schools and by private practitioners. The TMJ Scale has been chosen by the prestigious American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (AACP) to be the key symptom measurement tool employed in the largest research study of its kind on TM disorders.  The AACP teaches the use of the TMJ Scale in their training programs.

ON-LINE SCORING Use of this test is extremely easy. It can be ordered and scored on-line with reports printed, at the clinician’s convenience, in the office regardless of which computer or operating system is used.

Call 800-542-7246 and within minutes your account will be set up, including TWO (2) FREE TEST SCORINGS so you can experience the value of this test at absolutely NO COST to you and no further obligation. We are confident that once you try this test, you will choose to employ it in your clinical practice. We will not share any information you give us with other parties.

After you call, you will receive an email with log-on information to access your new account (user name and password) and your 2 FREE TEST SCORINGS.

As an alternative, you can simply log on to, click on ‘Register’ on the Home page or 'Click to Register' on many other pages on this website.

New Users: To Register your new account now and receive Two (2) FREE TMJ Scale Scorings and One (1) FREE Chronic Pain Battery Scoring click here

PLEASE NOTE: the website is secure and encrypted for your privacy and safety.

HOW IT WORKS Go to and click on ‘Clinician Log In.’ When you log-on to your account, you will see two (2) FREE test scorings. You can choose whether you want to download and print the test to give to your patients to fill out, or they can take the test on-line using a computer in your office. If you choose the most common option, to print the test and have the patient complete it in office or at home (takes about 15-20 minutes), then you or your office staff can log-on to your account and enter the answers (just a minute or two), score and print the report within seconds. You can read the report on-line, download and save it to a file, or print a hardcopy for the patient’s chart.

TO ORDER ADDITIONAL TEST SCORINGS Simply go to, click on ‘Clinician Log In’ After logging in, go to ‘Purchase Scorings’ which uses a secure Verisign link. Cost ranges from $21 when ordering a single scoring, to as low as $15 each when ordering 100 scorings. When logged in, you can also enter new tests, score and generate reports and change your Password. You can also order ‘TMJ Compare™,’ a tool that easily allows you to quantitatively compare the results of 2 TMJ Scale tests (ex. initial test and one during or after treatment) to help measure treatment progress and outcome.

WHY USE IT? Many TM disorder and facial pain specialists insist on having this test as part of their initial evaluation. They consider the TMJ Scale™ to be an essential part of the Standard of Care in the field and the Gold Standard for measuring TMD symptoms, including facial pain. This is an excellent way to carefully document the patient’s condition before treatment and to rule out or identify complicating factors. The TMJ Scale™ serves as an independent confirmation of your diagnostic impression. It is a powerful tool that can justify the need for treatment and demonstrate treatment efficacy to insurance carriers. It is quick, easy to use, inexpensive ($15-$21 depending on quantity ordered) and often reimbursable. Above all, it is highly reliable, accurate and comprehensive.

BILLING AND FEES   We cannot recommend what fee a healthcare professional may charge for administration, scoring, interpretation and reporting.  Some practitioners choose to simply absorb the cost of this test. Many others include it in their initial assessment fee and some bill separately for it.  Practitioners sometimes charge only their actual cost in using this testing service.  However, due to the overhead costs in administering and scoring the test, and the clinician’s professional time in reading, analyzing and reporting, billable fees may be generated.  Based on anecdotal information, these fees reportedly range from $50 to $200, averaging around $125-150 (similar to an X-ray).  Clinicians who do file insurance usually do so to medical insurance carriers.  CPT Codes 96101, 96102 and 96103 appear to be used most often for this type of testing depending on your specialty and how the test is administered.

New Users: To Register your new account now and receive Two (2) FREE TMJ Scale Scorings and One (1) FREE Chronic Pain Battery Scoring click here

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