The aim of this critical review is to determine what constitutes an ideal disc replacement material and whether any of the existing materials reported in the literature satisfy the requirements of an effective disc substitute following temporomandibular joint (TMJ) discectomy. Over the last half century a myriad of interpositional materials have been used in the TMJ but nearly all have been less than successful. The disasters that followed the early use of alloplastic interpositional implants in the 1980s prompted the increased use of autogenous grafts in the 1990s. Whilst studies by the author on the use of dermis-fat grafts have been largely positive, there are still concerns that make the dermis-fat graft a less than ideal interpositional material for use in discectomized joint cavities. In reviewing the literature, it is clear that there is still no ideal interpositional material that satisfies all the criteria for replacement of a missing articular disc following TMJ discectomy.
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