Slight dysfunctions in the temporomandibular joint should, as a matter of principle, be treated conservatively in the initial stages. Even if the dysfunction is severe, a conservative therapy should be used to start with, as this can in many cases, bring about an improvement in pain relief and function. Nowadays, we also have particularly gentle "minimally invasive" surgical treatment methods that can be used early on so as to avoid any further damage to the joint. "Open" TMJ surgery - where the incision is several centimetres long - is only rarely required nowadays.
The main advantage of arthroscopic TMJ surgery as opposed to open TMJ surgery is that there is no scarring either to the skin on the face or in the tissue layers below this. The risk of damaging the facial nerve is much lower than with temporomandibular joint surgery using a longer skin incision. The patient can leave the hospital on the day following surgery and can return to work immediately.