Occlusal splint therapy has been shown to be useful for diagnostic, relaxing, repositioning and reversible device and management of various masticatory system disorders to create neuromuscular harmony in the masticatory system and reduce parafunctional forces.
1)Hard splint :
An appliance that is fabricated from acrylic material to fit the upper or lower teeth. It is removable artificial occlusal surface that fits over the incisal and/or occlusal surfaces of teeth in one arch, creating precise occlusal contact with the teeth of opposite arch
2)Soft splint :
An appliance fabricated from 2 - 4 mm polyvinyl sheet material and usually adapted to the upper teeth. It is quick to fabricate and can be provided as emergency treatment for a patient who presents with an acute TMD. These appliances are generally worn only at night.
- To protect oral tissues in patients with oral parafunction ( bruxism, clenching)
- To stabilize unstable occlusion
- To promote jaw muscle relaxation in patients with stress related pain symptoms like tension headache and neck pain of muscular origin
- To eliminate the effects of occlusal interferences
- To test the effect of changes in occlusion on the TMJ and jaw muscle function before extensive restorative treatment
- non-harmful way to make reversible changes in the occlusion
- Wearing an occlusal splint can cause discomfort usually happens during the first few days a patient starts wearing the splint
- Wearing an oclusal splint can cause an increase in saliva, which should disappear over time.