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Ernest Syndrome and Insertion of the SML at the Mandible

Characterized as a painful complex of symptoms related to the insertion of the stylomandibular ligament (SML) at the mandible, onset of this syndrome
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This paper serves to emphasize for physicians and dentists that inclusion of Ernest Syndrome in the differential diagnosis of ear symptoms, TMJ pain, and other craniofacial pains will help to prevent unwarranted surgery of the TM Joint. Gregg45 and Farrar46 were the first dentists to report successful use of the radiofrequency generator for radiofrequency thermoneurolysis (RFTN) for treatment of dental related neuralgias. Farrar46 and Ernest5 also used RFTN to stabilize the posterior superior TMJ disc ligament and articular disc in select cases with great success. Ernest1,4 also reported using thermoneurolysis to denervate the articular nerve supplying the posterior TMJ for neuralgic pain with success. The proper use of RFTN for focal, degenerative painful tissue insertions and origins as well as dental neuralgias has a twenty-five year history in dental medicine with unqualified success. And, as in all cases, proper patient selection is necessary for a good outcome. Radiofrequency thermoneurolysis1-5,7-8,10-14,17-19,21,25-30 serves as a reasonable and preferred surgical choice when compared to the more invasive, higher risk and cost of scalpel surgery for Ernest Syndrome, temporal tendinitis, superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle pain, and similar conditions. n

Last updated on: January 30, 2012