Occlusal-related disorders are often difficult to diagnose as the presenting symptoms can vary widely. Once the cause of occlusal-related disorders is identified, this reversible and non-invasive therapy called the occlusal splint provides both diagnostic information and relief of symptoms without the problems that often accompany other approaches to care such as surgery and extended drug therapy.
The occlusal splints provide diagnostic information, allow muscles in spasm to relax, protect the teeth and jaws from the adverse effects of bruxism, and normalize periodontal ligament proprioception. A properly constructed splint facilitates a mutually protected occlusion. The type of splint utilized is dependent on the diagnosis. A careful medical and dental history along with a comprehensive examination is necessary for all patients, but especially those with facial pain, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs), or bruxism. Patients are typically asked to return for multiple follow-up visits for possible adjustments of the splint and monitoring progress.