Oral appliances, also known as splints, are one of the most effective treatments for TMJ Disorder. They also fit our conservative treatment philosophy, eliminating the need for invasive procedures and jaw surgery. Dr. Shaun Sigurdson is trained in neuromuscular dentistry. He understands the complex structure of the jaw and its relationship to the head and neck. Using advanced imaging technology, your Lakewood dentist can provide an appliance to reduce pressure on your jaw and dramatically relieve your symptoms.
To learn more about oral appliances and to find out if this is the right treatment for your TMJ Disorder, contact Lakewood Dental Group today.
How do oral appliances relieve TMJ Disorder?
An oral appliance fits over the teeth. Some devices prevent chronic grinding and clenching, a leading cause of TMD. Others actually reposition the jaw. By moving the lower jaw forward or backward, the device can alleviate pressure and improve joint function.
What are the different types of appliances?
Following your initial consultation, Dr. Sigurdson will explain the different types of appliances. The right one for you will depend on the position of your jaw and the underlying cause of your TMD. Options include:
- Anterior biteplane splint: This type of appliance is worn over the top teeth. It touches the bottom teeth immediately below to prevent grinding and clenching.
- NTI-tss appliance: The Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition Suppression System is also intended to alleviate bruxism. Studies show these devices to be quite effective, provided that patients adhere to the treatment protocol.
- Stabilization splint: A stabilization splint fits over all of the top teeth to relax the jaw muscles and prevent teeth grinding.
- Repositioning splint: These splints gently push the lower jaw forward or backward to improve joint position or to replace a slipped disc in the joint. Though repositioning splints can achieve significant results, they are not intended for permanent use.
Do I need to wear my appliance 24/7?
It depends on the severity and cause of your TMJ Disorder. If nighttime teeth grinding is to blame, you may only need to wear your splint while you sleep. If your bruxism manifests itself during the day, or if your jaw is severely misaligned, Dr. Sigurdson may advise you to wear your appliance during the day, as well.
How long will it take to get used to my oral appliance?
At Lakewood Dental Group, we use state-of-the-art digital impressions to ensure a near-perfect fit for your splint. Although it may take several weeks to adjust to wearing the device, it will soon feel natural and almost unnoticeable.
Can I just buy a premade mouthguard?
It is possible to buy prefabricated mouthguards from your local drugstore. Typically, buyers are instructed to heat the devices to soften them. By biting into the warm plastic, they can mold the devices around their teeth. However, unlike appliances provided by a Dallas dentist, these mouthguards will not have a precise fit. In fact, prolonged use could damage your teeth or cause orthodontic problems.
Contact Us to Schedule Your TMJ Consultation
At Lakewood Dental Group, we offer a variety of TMJ treatments. To learn whether an oral appliance is the right option for you, book an appointment online or call us at 214-827-1885.