Everything You Need to Know About Different Types of Dental Splints

Dental splints are devices used in dentistry to support, stabilize, or protect teeth and their surrounding structures. They are typically custom-made by dentists or dental specialists to address specific dental conditions or situations. Here are some common types of dental splints:

1. Occlusal Splints

Occlusal splints, also known as night guards or bite guards, are oral appliances designed to protect teeth from damage caused by clenching or grinding (bruxism) during sleep. They create a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, helping to alleviate pressure and reduce the risk of tooth wear, jaw pain, and headaches.

2. Temporary Splints

Temporary splints are often used after dental trauma, such as a tooth fracture or dislocation. They provide short-term stability and support to the affected teeth or jaw, allowing time for healing and proper alignment. Temporary splints may be made of materials like acrylic or composite resin and are usually replaced with a permanent solution once the initial healing phase is complete.

3. Periodontal Splints

Periodontal splints are used in the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease or after periodontal surgery. They aim to stabilize loose teeth by connecting them together, distributing forces during chewing and preventing excessive movement. Periodontal splints can be made using various materials, such as wires, composite resin, or fiber-reinforced composites.

4. Orthodontic Splints

Orthodontic splints, also called orthodontic retainers, are appliances used after orthodontic treatment to maintain the new alignment of teeth. They help prevent teeth from shifting back to their original positions. Orthodontic splints can be removable or fixed, and they are custom-made based on the individual’s specific orthodontic needs.

5. Implant-Supported Splints

Implant-supported splints are used to stabilize and support dental implants, particularly in cases where multiple implants are placed. These splints are designed to distribute forces evenly among the implants, preventing excessive stress on individual implants and promoting overall implant success and longevity.

It’s important to note that the specific type of dental splint recommended will depend on the individual’s dental condition, treatment goals, and the dentist’s professional judgment. Dentists or dental specialists will evaluate the patient’s needs and develop a treatment plan that may involve the use of dental splints to address specific concerns and promote oral health and function.