The Dawson Academy Blog

Dental Articles on Occlusion, Centric Relation, Restorative Dentistry & More

How Splints Fit Into a Treatment Plan

Hi, everybody. My name's Dr. Leonard Hess. I'm one of the senior faculty members here at the Dawson Academy, and I'd like to spend a few minutes talking with you about where occlusal splints work into a treatment plan when we're talking about doing larger or more complicated treatment plans. Let's really take a moment and break our splints down into two predominant types of appliances.

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Educating patients about the TMJ joint (4 different phases of the joint)

Educating patients on dental conditions can be very challenging for many dentists. A complete dentist has even more challenges, especially when it comes to explaining joint conditions with their patients. The complete dentist starts the examination by examining the joint first. Based on what we know, there are four categories or phases of joints that we need to discuss: the green joint, there are two in the yellow-joint category, and the red joint. Talking to your patients about each of these categories is very important, because if they understand the condition, they can understand the recommended treatment is necessary. We start with the green joint.

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Truth About Digitally Fabricated Splints

When we talk about digital dentistry, we are really talking about replacing different aspects of the process from the physical world to computer-coded counterparts. It can be everything from capturing of data with intraoral scans, to the software design process, and then fabrication of the splints using some automated manufacturing device. In my office, I’ve liked the digital capture part of the process for a while, but now, digital design and fabrication is exciting too.

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Determining TMJ Health: what to look at during the initial exam

What things do we look at in the initial exam to determine TMJ health and maybe what do we look at periodically to also assess joint health?

I think the beauty of this whole process is that the complete examination (taught by The Dawson Academy) and the way it is laid out gives us the ability to thoroughly examine our patients and to determine a couple of things.

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Webinar: Is Splint Therapy Always a Safe Treatment Option?

Splints are more than just a piece of plastic you give to patients when you don't know what else to do with them

Occlusal splint therapy can be a great treatment option for those suffering from occluso-muscle disorders and TMD. Given the wrong type of appliance, however, splint therapy can actually do more harm than good for our patients. With an improper or poorly fabricated device, patients can develop increased pain to the joint, an open bite and other serious implications.

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