Published online: 10 July 2004
Subject Category: TMD disorders
Treatment of temporomandibular disorders by stabilising splints in general dental practice: results after initial treatment
R W Wassell1, N Adams2 & P J Kelly3
•During the first six weeks of treatment, the occlusal surface of the splint made no significant contribution to any of the outcomes measured suggesting that the occlusion is a relatively unimportant factor influencing recovery in the majority of TMD patients seen in practice.
•A small proportion of patients needed treatment for up to five months to obtain a satisfactory response. These were the patients who crossed over from the non-occluding control splint to the stabilising splint. They tended to be older with TMJ clicking.
•Clicking was not especially responsive to treatment with the stabilising splint, but discomfort was reduced in three quarters of patients with clicking TMJs. It was difficult to make a reliable diagnosis of disc displacement with reduction using the trial criteria.
•Suitably trained practitioners can manage four out of five TMD patients; a link with specialist services is recommended to deal with non-responding patients.
Dr. Stan Farrell, at AZ TMJ, has dedicated his practice to the treatment of TMJ Disorders and has developed custom stabilizing splints, that minimize the effect on occlusion and allow the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) to heal and find a natural resting place. Dr. Farrell’s conservative treatment approach has been highly successful; with many patients experiencing immediate relief. www.headpaininstitute.com