Dental splints, also called occlusal splints, bite plates, nightguards, and mouthguards. They are custom-made by a dentist. They are typically made of clear plastic. They fit between and over the upper and lower teeth.
A dental splint is an orthodontic device that can be used for the following purposes:
- To stabilize loose teeth
- To protect teeth from damage from bruxism( a condition in which people grind and clench their teeth)
- To relieve the pain and discomfort of patients with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ or TMD).
- To treat sleep apnea and snoring
- Can also serve as a “sportsguard” for those interested in protecting their teeth during sports
Common questions regarding dental splints:
A dental splint is typically worn at night. If there is severe TMD pain associated, it can be worn throughout the day as well.
It is not advisable to use occlusal splints that are from the drugstore. First, they are not the same type of material or thickness that are recommended by the ADA. This could result in increasing the grinding and clenching activity, instead of discouraging it. Second, because it is not a custom fit, it could impinge on the gum tissues, and harm the teeth. Overall, more damage is done, and the situation can become worse with over the counter occlusal guards.
There are typically two visits. First, dental impressions are taken of your teeth. A dental laboratory will then use these impressions to custom fabricate a nightguard for you. At the second visit, the doctor will fit the occlusal guard and give it to you.
An occlusal guard is best cleaned by using a soft toothbrush and softsoap. Toothpaste should not be used on it.
An occlusal guard typically lasts for a few years.
Call El Barrio Dental Studio today at (212) 369-0680 to schedule a consultation.