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Restorative Dentistry Supporting Your Practice

What’s with Clicking Joints?

More than a third of a third of the population have a clicking jaw (or disc displacement) characterised by clicking upon opening or closing the jaw or both. Typically asymptomatic and caused by microtrauma, this is a common condition many dentists will encounter in their practice.

Today, Dr. Thomas Shackleton is here to provide an overview of disc displacements, jaw clicking, diagnostics and treatment protocols, and how dentists can help patients manage this condition.

About Dr. Tom Shackleton

Dr. Shackleton is a general dentist in Calgary where he has been practicing for the past 20 years. He is a graduate of Northwestern University Dental School and a member of both the Alberta Dental Association and College and the Canadian Dental Association. His practice takes focus on oral facial pain TMD conditions and he is also a member of the Canadian Pain Society.

During this slide-based presentation, Dr. Shackleton discusses:

  • Disc displacement with reduction–overview and characteristics.
  • Common causes and conditions for clicking jaw.
  • Pathophysiology: causes of laxity in the ligaments.
  • How to manage symptomatic clicking joints from patient exercises to medications to steroid anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Managing asymptomatic jaw clicking with patients to reduce the number of clicks each day.
  • Disc displacement without reduction–what to look for in patients and symptomatic management options.
  • Joint injections to treat painful and arthritic joints as well as TMJ OA and DDNR.
  • Appliance therapy stabilisation.
  • Using anterior repositioning appliances correctly and special considerations for patients.

Read/download the transcript of the presentation (PDF)

Oasis Moment/Preview (1.26″)

Full Presentation (13.10″)

We want to hear from you!

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Until next time!

CDA Oasis Team



  1. andrew rowe May 21, 2019

    Excellent presentation!!! useful and very informative

  2. Dr. Paul Belzycki May 22, 2019

    Dear Tom, I too found your presentation most informative and thank you for all the effort I know you put into it.

    I do have a question for you. What material is employed for your occlusion appliances?

    Is it the traditional hard dental acrylic?

    Or do you use the hard acrylic that is thermoplastic with heat?

    Or is the decision based on what the requirements are for a particular case?

    Thank you,
    Dr. Paul Belzycki, DDS

  3. Perfect synopsis of a complex issue. Extremely relevant and very useful, a real “pearl”.
    Thank you for these short refreshers, your presentation on facial pain and the use of 20% benzocaine for temporary relief was also very useful.

  4. Nohe Sassi May 31, 2019

    Thanks doc! Quite informative.

  5. Graham Macdonald June 3, 2019

    Excellent presentation, very practical and useful ! Thank you Dr Shackleton

  6. Snehal Shah June 14, 2019

    Very efficient presentation. Thank you so much?

  7. Austin Saldanha September 7, 2020

    Thank you Tom.Your presentation was very useful and practical.Hope to hear more from you in the future.


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