Home Ask The Dentist Medicaid Polls Procedure Descriptions FAQ's Consultants Schools Directories Research


Dental Health Library Article

Dental Appliances - TMJ Bite Adjustment Splints

Video: Neuromuscular Bite Guards

Upper Bite Plate

The most common of all dental appliances, this one usually has the highest failure rate. Most dentists fabricate this type of appliance because that's what they were taught in school.

Unfortunately, many dental schools have NO concept on how to properly treat TMJ or headaches. This type of device can worsen a patient's symptoms because it increases muscular activity. The jaws sense upper splints as foreign objects and rejects them...more often than not.

These upper splints are ineffective because they do nothing to reposition the lower jaw in the proper anatomical relationship that needs to be attained for pain reduction. Furthermore, these appliances can allow the lower jaw to skate around causing an increase in bruxing, clenching, and grinding because it provides a skating ring for the lower jaw. Subsequently, muscles spasms increase and pain worsens.

Expansion Appliances

Some doctors who treat TMJ believe that expanding the upper jaw can provide pain relief. This is incorrect treatment if the lower jaw is not placed in the proper position. Expanders can cause more pain because they can displace the lower jaw into a more painful position.

NTI TMJ Bite Appliance Photo

NTI Technology

A very effective device if used for moderate pain cases. It can also help about 50% (by our clinical observation) of migraine sufferers. This device can cause more pain if it is not adjusted properly in the mouth.

Many of these devices that we see fitted by other dentists are incorrectly adjusted. If you have this device and it is not providing pain relief then you must consider that either the device is ill-fitted or your condition warrants more advanced care.

Lower Splints

These are usually the most effective appliances to correct jaw imbalances and cure even the worst headache and migraine sufferers. Even simple flat plane bruxism splints can provide relief, if adjusted properly. The most effective devices used at our office are called Levandoski and FACT appliances. These splints position a patient's jaws into a predetermined position (based on x-ray analysis and muscle testing) similar to the way a cast would support a broken leg. The appliance should not allow you to freely move your jaws, as they should dictate and teach you a new way to speak, chew, swallow, etc. These appliances must be worn constantly in order to provide proper therapy. They may also need to be adjusted on a monthly basis.

Appliance Failure

If you have been fitted with a proper dental appliance (lower repositioning) and your pain has not subsided within 3 months it is recommended that you:

  1. Have your specialist readjust the splint and explain to you what he/she is trying to accomplish with it. If a clear explanation is not forthcoming, find another specialist...this is exact science, it's not guesswork.

  2. Consider that you must wear your appliance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anything less than this renders your treatment useless.

  3. If you are fighting your appliance, then consider that you may need a break-in period of treatment. This may consists of wearing different appliances until you get used to the correct one. Normally, a small device such as the NTI is used to break you in, followed by a lower bruxism splint (or soft splint) and then followed by a repositioning splint. It may take more than 4 months before you can even start wearing the correct appliance.

  4. In most cases, physical therapy and postural education is also required before the appliance can have a high success rate. If your specialist has not evaluated your posture or has not considered physical medicine requirements, you may want to seek a second opinion. Our clinical experience has shown that over 75% of our patients require physical medicine intervention.

Editorial Staff

Ask a Question

You also have the option to search for specific videos, by treatment result or procedure. Modify search phrase as needed to refine search results:

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

[Home]   [Ask The Dentist]   [FAQ's]   [Polls]   [Consultants]   [Directories]   [Articles]  
Contact the Editor
Technical Treatment Protocol Diagnosis Error Assessment
Free No Cost Dentist Advice
Featured in
Part of the Dental Network
Health Issues in Dentistry
Bite Occlusion TMJ Appliances and Splints
All rights reserved - 1999-2020
Dental Pros and Cons

Free Dentistry
Bad Teeth Gums Gallery
Best Dentist???
Medication Chart
What Is FAGD - MAGD?
Veneer Procedure
What Causes Veneer Failure
Cracked Fractures
Wisdom Tooth
Extraction Surgery

State of the Art Implants
Denture Partials cause Bone Loss
All On 4
Pediatric Phobia's
GTR - Guided Tissue Regeneration
Childrens Dental Disease
Orthodontic Migraines
Loose Shifting Teeth
LANAP PerioLase Gum Treatment
Orthognathic Alternative
CPAP Stop Snoring
Sedation Types
EKG Pulse Monitor
Gag Reflex
Holistic TMJ
Sjogrens Syndrome
Xerostomia - Dry Mouth
Bad Breath Causes
Meth Mouth
Tooth Enamel Issues
Loose Teeth Bonding Fix
Loose Crowns
Denture Relining
Amalgam Mercury Issues
Bargain Dentures
Gingivitis Contagious?
Periodontal Surgery
Photo Gallery

Implant Failures
Root Canal Pain
Broken RCT Files
Implant Socket Grafts
Black - Brown Gums
Pink Gingiva Laser
Denture Hygiene Whitening
Immediate Dentures
Oral Surgery
Tooth Extractions

RCT - Root Canals
Unnecessary Extraction
Gummy Orthodontics
Crown Facts
Avoiding Failures
Surgery Guides
Teeth In An Hour

3-D Imaging
Headache Pain
RF Thermoneurolosis
Depression TMJ
Gum Disease
Gums - Bone Grafting
Gold Crowns
Diastema Tooth Gaps
Jawbone Density
TMJ Pain?
Occlusal Physics
Whitening Myths
Occlusion Splints
Receding Gums
Implants Explained
One Day Implant
Mini Implants

Doctor Resources

Dental Schools