Splint vs. Orthotic
The splint is designed for palliative use only…it cannot achieve a “cure”. A splint is made from a variable thickness of plastic that is non-measured. Typically it is worn on either the upper or lower arch at night. The patient is discouraged from chewing any foods that challenge the muscles and from opening wide to prevent symptoms from getting worse. A compromised life of pain and dysfunction with Ibuprofen and/or pain relievers can be a daily ritual.
*It cannot protect the patient from dysfunction while swallowing and chewing during the day.
The neuromuscular orthotic is derived from muscle measurement and tomographic x-ray imaging to deliver a precise 3-dimensional position for the mandible. The orthotic is made to this objective position and the patient is then educated to use it 24/7, even while eating. The more muscles engage in proper function the better they feel. The orthotic also protects the TM joints from the original bite, which generally places the condyles to far back within the joint itself, causing pain and reduced function (dysfunction). The positive changes in patient symptoms can be dramatic!
The orthotic will undergo rigorous testing again in approximately 3-4 months. Healthy muscles in the facial area along with improved posture can create changes in the bite. This positive change is monitored and adjusted accordingly based on the information provided by the neuromuscular computer. This evaluation can detect changes within .1 mm! The orthotic becomes a dynamic instrument because it can be measured and adjusted as change to the musculature, joints and posture occur!
With the orthotic a cure can and will happen. Consistent, repetitive function creates strength and symptom-free patients.
Phase I TMJ treatment involves 24/7 orthotic wear until stability is achieved.
Phase II treatment offers option to maintain the stable bit postilion without the continuous use of the orthotic.
Posture affects the TJM symptoms-TMJ symptoms affect posture-Therefore there is a need for both treatments simultaneously.
Splint: palliative & compromising vs. Orthotic: stability and symptom-free cure