Occlusal Appliance (Splint) Therapy
• Your occlusal appliance is a diagnostic, reprogramming, and relaxing appliance that Dr. Platt or Dr. Dale may suggest if there are indications of issues with your bite (the way your teeth fit together).
• The occlusal appliance has been shown to help 70%-90% of the people with your problem, however, you must remember that the appliance only sets up the conditions for healing, and that the body must heal and repair itself. In some cases the symptoms may temporarily worsen. The degree of healing and repair are individual and the relief of symptoms will vary.
• You will be instructed to wear the appliance: 1) only at night or 2) 24 hours a day. You will notice when you first remove the appliance from your mouth for eating or cleaning, that the teeth will contact differently. This is because of the muscle relaxation and the improved seating of your jaw joints. The teeth act as interferences with this new path of jaw closure. When you remove your splint to eat, the jaw muscles will quickly adapt and return to the original path of closure dictated by your teeth.
• Always remove the appliance to eat. Cut all food into small, bites sized pieces and avoid opening your mouth any wider than the thickness of your thumb.
• Do not eat hard crusts of bread, tough meat, raw vegetables, or other foods that will require prolonged, vigorous chewing.
• Do not clench your teeth with or without your appliance. Remember to keep your “lips together and your teeth apart”.
• Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to modify your appliance as your muscles and jaw joints relax. As this occurs it feels like the splint does not fit correctly. This is normal and will be corrected at the follow-up appointments.
• Clean your occlusal appliance at least daily with a toothbrush and hand soap. When your appliance is not worn, keep it dry in the case provided.
• After occlusal appliance therapy, additional treatment may be required such as occlusal equilibration, orthodontics, and/or restorative dentistry. Consultation as to what additional treatment and fees will be given at the time should the need arise.
• Professional care is required while you are receiving occlusal appliance treatment. If, for some reason, you are not receiving this care, you should not wear your appliance.
• Dogs and cats love to chew up dental appliances. Keep your pets away from your splint- it is too expensive to be a chew toy.
If you experience pain while wearing your appliance, discontinue use and contact our office as soon as possible.