Dental Splint Types and Care Instructions

Dental splints are usually the first stage of treatment for TMJ disorders. Splints treatment helps your dentist find your optimal bite, a process that usually takes at least 3 months. Splints can also be used as a long-term treatment to shape your best bite and make it permanent.

There are many different types of splints treatment available today, so it can be hard to know which option is right for you. Here are 5 of the most common splints treatment, and what they’re best for.

1. Over the counter mouthguard – This is the most economical option that protects your teeth from grinding. However, it is also the least comfortable option for sleep. Mouthguards are best cared for using cold water only and denture or mouthguard disinfectants.

2. Essix – Essix retainers are clear retainers that can also help protect your teeth from mild TMJ symptoms. Many patients choose these retainers because they are economical, thin, comfortable and lightweight. Essix retainers can be cleaned in the same manner as an over the counter mouthguard.

However, because of their thinness, Essix retainers are not ideal for patients with severe grinding problems. Your dentist may recommend a different option if you experience severe grinding, or if your Essix retainer wears out quickly.

Essix retainers are not designed to fix TMJ pain or dysfunction. If these symptoms persist, ask your dentist about another treatment option.

3. Custom flat plane bite splint/night guard – These splints and guards are specially designed to protect your teeth from clenching and grinding. Since they’re thicker than Essix retainers, your dentist may recommend this option if you experience serious clenching or grinding problems.

The tight fit of these splints and guards mean that they are more comfortable than over-the-counter guards, and can also act as retainers. They may or may not help with pain and dysfunction and can be cleaned and cared for the in the same manner as mouthguards and retainers.

4. Removable Neuromuscular Orthotic – These neuromuscularly balanced, anatomically exact orthotics are created using the latest in dental technology. They are designed to eliminate clenching and grinding, as well as TMJ pain and dysfunction.

These orthotics are removable but are worn most of the time. Depending on your preference, you can choose to wear them all day including eating, or all night and all day with the exception of eating.

To clean your oral orthotic, you can use baking soda and water, denture cleaner or a mouth rinse. Just like the previous splints treatment options, cold water only is recommended to avoid any warping.

Splints treatment has various options and should be discussed with your dentist to ensure you are using the correct option for you. Once you choose an option, be sure to clean it regularly and ensure it is stored well and not exposed to heat or hot water. Getting the proper splints treatment will help to protect your teeth and reduce jaw pain, so it is important to access great treatment and to take good car of your device.

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