Because their etiologies and pathogenesis are poorly understood, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) diseases are difficult to diagnose and manage. All current approaches to treatments of TMJ diseases are largely palliative. Definitive and rational diagnoses or treatments can only be achieved through a comprehensive understanding of the etiologies, predisposing factors, and pathogenesis of TMJ diseases. While much work remains to be done in this field, novel findings in biomedicine and developments in imaging and computer technologies are beginning to provide us with a vision of future innovations in the diagnostics and therapeutics of TMJ disorders. These advances include the identification and use of local or systemic biomarkers to diagnose disease or monitor improvements in therapy; the use of imaging technologies for earlier and more sensitive diagnostics; and the use of biomedicine, biomimetics, and imaging to design and manufacture bioengineered joints. Such advances are likely to help to customize and enhance the quality of care we provide to patients with TMJ disorders.
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