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Temporomandibular joint replacement in rheumatoid-induced disease

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      Abstract

      We report a series of seven patients with rheumatoid arthritis whose temporomandibular joints were replaced using the Christensen joint system. Patients were assessed before and after operation both subjectively (pain and dietary interference) and objectively (interincisal distance). Patient's satisfaction with the outcome of operation was also recorded. All patients showed improved visual analogue scores for pain and dietary interference after their operations and an improvement in interincisal distance was recorded in five of the patients (the remaining two having had the operation for anterior open bite). Overall satisfaction was high and no patient has rejected the prosthesis or had any substantial complications. The mean follow up period is 30 months (range 8–50). We suggest that patients with severe, rheumatoid-induced temporomandibular disease should be considered for arthroplasty as it is possible to restore some normal function and appearance.
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