Asymmetry, Bruxism, Centric relation, condylar asymmetry recognition, Condyle (anatomy), Dentistry, Occlusal device, Occlusal splint, Radiography, Retruded Position of the Mandible, Temporomandibular joint, Temporomandibular joint disorder, Temporomandibular joint pain
Through the insertion of a stabilization splint fabricated in the correct mandibular position i.e. in RPM(=),RPM(R) or RPM(L) it is easy ,not to say the only way, to confirm or justify the preliminary diagnosis of the complaint of facial pain.Needless to say , I take for granted that the mandibular position is determined from the analysis of the vertical dimensions of the two temporomandibular joint condyles visible in the panoramic x-ray. The values conclude with the difference in mm provided the technician with the impressions of the upper and lower jaws. Via Maaxloc you or your technician produce the index with which the models are mounted into the articulator of your choice. The splint is fabricated in hot curing acrylic and at a condylar asymmetry it will be somewhat thicker at the ” shorter condyle ” side ,as it is compensating what is missing in the vertical dimension of that condylar height. The splint does not need to be adjusted if your measurements and impressions/models are correct. It fits directly into the mouth of your patient. There are many hard and good working technicians who perfectly provide excellent splints. My opinion is that if the dentist needs to adjust a splint the error most likely must have happened in the clinical situation as the technician is working with the models of non changeable materials and correctly mounted in the articulator.
The patient is then to wear the splint depending upon the preliminary diagnosis. Full time use, 24 hours a day, except at eating at arthrogeneous origin of pain as the anatomical joint structures need support. Part time use of the splint, day OR night, at myogeneous origin of pain as the masticatory muscles needs to be interrupted in their hyperfunction i.e. given the possibility to rest. I do think that the reason why even perfectly fit splints do not give the patient any relief is that the splint is worn at the wrong time of the 24 hours. To wear a splint during sleep when bruxing occurs during the day does not make any sense to me. Just a change in the way the patient is wearing the splint may result in complete relief.
Personally I never prescribe soft splints. In my opinion they function as chewing gum due to their resilience and should be avoided in any bruxing situation. In conclusion, there is only one splint that also can be looked upon as universal . That is the conventionally made stabilization splint ( the old Michigan splint ) fabricated around the correct mandibular position in RPM. No problem All continents !