The Piper Clinic is an advanced treatment center for TMJ related problems and is dedicated to delivering the highest standards of temporomandibular joint (TMJ), occlusion (bite), and facial pain diagnosis and management. The Mission Statement of the Piper Clinic embodies the philosophy and feelings that Dr. Piper has embraced in the care of his patients for more than three decades:
The Piper Clinic mission is to continually employ the highest standards of diagnosis and treatment for patients suffering from facial pain, occlusal dysfunction, or damage to their temporomandibular joints, utilizing the most appropriate medical and dental advancements. All patients shall be treated with respect and compassion and shall be educated fully as to their condition.
At the Piper Clinic, we listen to what patients go through in their TMJ journey. Patients suffering from temporomandibular joint disorders oftentimes are frustrated by the confusion and disagreement within the field about diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately for most patients, diagnosis is made without benefit of medical imaging or reliable medical or dental testing. In addition, the interpretation of signs, symptoms, and diagnostic tests is often variable, erroneous, or incomplete. Depending upon the consulted specialist, options for management may vary widely. As a result, patients may become lost in a maze of confusing opinions. Regrettably, improper initial management, whether surgical or non-surgical, may start a course of failure, resulting in progressive pain, bite instability, and recession or asymmetry of the face. Oftentimes after investing in extensive dental work, orthodontics, or bite surgery, there is further bite change and onset of new pain. All too many patients enter into treatment that they expect will make them better, only to discover that their symptoms have become worse. As treatments fail, patients and doctors alike experience feelings of alienation, inadequacy, and outright fear of additional attempts at management. Ultimately, those patients who have not responded or who have worsened with treatment may face the hopelessness of finding no doctor to treat them and no insurance for coverage.
At the Piper Clinic, we have tried to give answers where there is confusion. Our focus is quality patient management. From the day that we were founded in 1983, the Piper Clinic has remained at the cutting edge of diagnosis and treatment, and we have focused foremost upon the wellbeing of the patient. We have heard every story imaginable, and we have seen thousands of cases of failure at the hands of well-intentioned doctors and faithful patients. We realize for patients that the fields of TMJ, bite management, and facial pain are in a severe crisis. Many doctors do not want to treat "TMJ" patients. Older doctors may not want to meet the time demands of the population, and new doctors are often inadequately trained. It is our observation that fewer doctors are knowingly treating the TMJ today than at the end of the 20th century. The bottom line is that many patients have a TMJ problem, and they do not know it because their doctors have not been trained to recognize the early signs that precede actual symptoms such as pain.
At the Piper Clinic, we have put the temporomandibular joint first. It is the foundation of the jaw structures. This is the foundation that supports the bite. This is the foundation that must be stable to prevent pain. Diagnosis and treatment should start with an accurate assessment of this foundation. We aim to find out everything about the structure of the joint as our starting point, and that comes only from a thorough diagnostic evaluation. Only after understanding everything about the joint foundation will we make our recommendations for management. Finally we promise to do everything in our power to help patients understand their condition and their best options for treatment.
131 2nd Ave. S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701