Presentation and primary care management of temporomandibular disorders: A survey of primary care dentists in Santiago and Newcastle

Chris Penlington, Julia Palmer, Daniela Martinez-Telchi, Justin Durham, Tobar Lahosa Valentine, Maria Jose Casals, Juan Fernando Oyarzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Primary care dentists are often the first point of call for people with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) but it is not known how many people present to their dentist with TMD or the forms of first-line management that are routinely offered. Objectives: To report rates of presentation of TMD and management offered in primary care by general dental practitioners in two similarly urban areas, Santiago, Chile and North-East England. Methods: An online survey was developed and distributed to primary care dentists in both regions. Descriptive data were presented to quantify presentation rates and forms of management offered. Results: Responses were received from 215 dentists practising in Chile and 46 in Newcastle. The majority reported seeing 1–2 patients weekly with TMD and less than one new presentation each week. Symptoms were most often treated conservatively and with self-management according to international guidelines. The form of self-management varied however and verbal instructions were often not backed up by written information. Conclusions: This research provides a useful starting point in understanding the presentation to, and initial treatment of TMD in primary care internationally. Limitations included the method of recruitment and potentially non-representative samples. Further research could build on this work by including more countries and using more structured sampling methods. The work will be useful in understanding and planning early care pathways for people experiencing TMD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • management
  • primary care
  • self-management
  • survey
  • temporomandibular disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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