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SYNOPSIS

The charts of 100 consecutive headache clinic patients were reviewed retrospectively to determine the frequency of prior dental treatment for TMJ disorders. Twenty had been treated, but only 4 satisfied our diagnostic criteria for the TMJ pain-dysfunction syndrome. The other 16 satisfied conventional criteria for other headache diagnoses, and none of them had improved with dental treatment. Increased patient awareness of the TMJ syndrome, inappropriate referral by physicians and incorrect diagnosis by dentists all probably led to the unnecessary dental treatment.