The purpose of your plastic occlusal splint is to allow the various components of the chewing apparatus to function more harmoniously and in their most natural positions. When proper tooth position does not coincide with normal joint relationships problems may result. Adding bruxing or clenching magnifies muscle and joint dysfunction. Your splint will not keep you from clenching your teeth, only you can do this. The splint WILL more naturally distribute biting forces, so that bruxing/clenching is less harmful.
The splint is exquisitely designed to accomplish the following; when you bite your teeth on the splint, all your teeth should touch at the same time. The front teeth a little lighter touch than the back teeth. From that closed position, when you slide you jaw in any direction, none of your back teeth should hit the plastic. This design allows mandibular movements to by performed placing lesser demands on the muscles and joints.
A splint is made of a heat-cured hard acrylic and can last for varying amounts of time depending on your care of it, and the degree of stress you exert on it. There is no metal support on the splint so BE CAREFUL. It will give you longer service if you take care of it.
Should you ever feel any sensitivity, looseness, fracture or change in the bite, you must call and have the appliance checked. The teeth can shift positions, fracture or become sensitive without proper coverage and stability which can occur in a matter of days. Should you be out of town, either call for reference or see a local dentist, but do not delay for any length of time since neglect may result in the need for additional dental treatment we had not anticipated. An improperly maintained and unadjusted splint is worse that no splint at all.
You will notice an excessive flow of saliva for the first few days because the salivary glands will be fooled by the presence of the appliance and will react as if it were food. Do not be concerned about this; it will disappear shortly. Oral hygiene should continue as usual. Never wear a splint without brushing first.
For questions please call (561) 746-8095 or visit our website at jupiterdentist.com. You can also follow us at facebook.com/jupiterdentist, twitter.com/jupiterdentist, youtube.com/drdebrahigham or youtube.com/drandrewsauchelli