What is a dental splint?
Dental splints are devices made by the dentist, made of plastic materials or acrylic resins, which cover all or part of the teeth. These splints have different objectives depending on their purpose. It is possible to distinguish between different types such as:
- Whitening splint: they maintain on the surface of the teeth of a whitening agent.
- Orthodontic maintenance splint: prevent tooth movement after orthodontic treatment.
- Periodontal splints: prevent tooth movement after periodontal treatment.
- Occlusal or unloading splint or deprogramming splint: the purpose of this splint is to modify the patient’s occlusion. It is a plastic mouth appliance that is placed on one of the dental arches to prevent teeth from coming into contact with each other, to transport the jaw to a proper position when biting on it.
- Surgical splint: prevents tooth movement after surgical treatment.
- Radiological splint: provides diagnostic information prior to a surgical procedure in which implants are to be placed.
- Mouth guards: protect the teeth during sports such as rugby, boxing, field hockey, basketball, etc.
Dental splints are created for bruxism. Molds of the patient’s teeth are used for their creation.
Why is it done?
Dental splints are created for bruxism. Molds of the patient’s teeth are used for their creation. They help to release the tension accumulated during the patient’s day to day life, in cases where they suffer sporadic or continuous episodes of stress. Its use is recommended while the patient sleeps and its manufacture is 100% safe for the organism.
How is the mold for the unloading splint created?
When creating the mold for the dental splint, it should be taken into account that no two dentures are alike. Each person should have their own individualized unloading splint for bruxism. To create it, a tray will be placed with an elastic material called alginate that adapts to the shape of each person’s teeth.
The splint can be larger or smaller, depending on the arch in which it is placed. It is usually made of transparent acrylamide and always has a hard material. The choice of these materials is very important because some people use sports mouthguards to treat bruxism as well. These other guards are made of soft materials and may stimulate the habit of clenching the jaw tightly at night. However, sports mouthguards are not recommended as a treatment for bruxism.
Cleaning and effectiveness of dental splints
A toothbrush and water are usually used to clean the splint. Many people have found dental splints to be effective as long as they are properly constructed. They are a beneficial treatment for maintenance and prevention of bruxism. It is important to emphasize the detail that each splint must be individual for each patient, otherwise it will be of no use.