A poor appreciation of the role of surgery in the management of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) may result in some patients being denied access to appropriate care. While surgery is often considered as an option of last resort, there are instances where surgery is the definitive and sometimes the only treatment option. The aim of this paper was to review the role of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) surgery and its place in the treatment armamentarium of temporomandibular disorders. Indications, rationale for surgery, risks vs. benefits are discussed and complemented with examples of clinical cases treated by the author. All dental practitioners should be aware of the benefits of TMJ surgery so that patients do not suffer unnecessarily from ongoing non-surgical treatments that ultimately prove to be ineffective in the management of their condition.