TMJ Disc Displacement without Reduction Management: A Systematic Review

J Dent Res. 2014 Jul;93(7 Suppl):37S-51S. doi: 10.1177/0022034514528333. Epub 2014 Mar 21.


Various interventions have been used for the management of patients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc displacement without reduction (DDwoR), but their clinical effectiveness remains unclear. This systematic review investigated the effects of these interventions and is reported in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Electronic and manual searches up to November 1, 2013, were conducted for English-language, peer-reviewed, publications of randomized clinical trials comparing any form of conservative or surgical interventions for patients with clinical and/or radiologic diagnosis of acute or chronic DDwoR. Two primary outcomes (TMJ pain intensity and maximum mouth opening) and a number of secondary outcomes were examined. Two reviewers performed data extraction and risk of bias assessment. Data collection and analysis were performed according to Cochrane recommendations. Twenty studies involving 1,305 patients were included. Data analysis involved 21 comparisons between a variety of interventions, either between interventions, or between intervention and placebo or no intervention. Meta-analysis on homogenous groups was conducted in 4 comparisons. In most comparisons made, there were no statistically significant differences between interventions relative to primary outcomes at short- or long-term follow-up (p > .05). In a separate analysis, however, the majority of reviewed interventions reported significantly improved primary outcome measures from their baseline levels over time (p < .05). Evidence levels, however, are currently insufficient for definitive conclusions, because the included studies were too heterogeneous and at an unclear to high risk of bias. In view of the comparable therapeutic effects, paucity of high-quality evidence, and the greater risks and costs associated with more complex interventions, patients with symptomatic DDwoR should be initially treated by the simplest and least invasive intervention.

Keywords: TMD; closed lock; disc disorder; internal derangement; meta-analysis; temporomandibular joint surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Facial Pain / therapy
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc / pathology*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome