In practice, surgical procedures targeting the mandibular joint are replacements of the joint with a prosthesis. The patients most commonly suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthrosis. Their problem is an inflammatory disease or arthrosis that makes it impossible or painful to open their mouth. The treatment is a joint prosthesis.
A computer model is made of the patient's chin, which the attending surgeon uses to plan the prosthesis together with the company that manufactures them. A customized joint prosthesis is ready to be implanted about six to eight weeks after the model is made.
The number of days in hospital after surgery depends on the number of prostheses implanted: if a prosthesis is only implanted on one side, the patient spends one night in hospital, and if two joints are replaced with a prosthesis, the patients spends the next two nights in hospital. A dentist is often needed in connection with mandibular joint surgery. Occlusal adjustment may be necessary, for example, to ensure normal occlusion with the prosthesis.