Dental splinting is the joining of two or more teeth into a rigid unit by means of fixed or removable restorations/devices. A periodontal splint is an appliance used for maintaining or stabilizing mobile teeth in their functional position. The main objective of splinting is to promote healing and to increase the patients comfort and function. The main attraction of splinting is its relatively low cost, simplicity of treatment, the possibility of extending life and function of failing teeth, and the convenience of a fixed solution.
Indications for a splint
- It stabilizes moderate to advanced tooth mobility that cannot be reduced by other means and which has not responded to occlusal adjustment and periodontal therapy.
- When it interferes with normal masticatory functions
- Facilitates scaling and surgical procedures
- Stabilizes teeth after orthodontic treatment
- Stabilizes teeth after acute dental trauma
- In order to prevent tipping and drifting of the teeth
- Prevent extrusion of unopposed teeth
Contraindications for a splint
- Moderate to severe tooth mobility in the presence of periodontal inflammation and/primary occlusal trauma
- Insufficient number of firm/sufficiently firm teeth to stabilize mobile teeth
- Prior occlusal adjustment has not been done on teeth with occusal trauma or occlusal interference
- Patient not maintaining a good oral hygiene
Advantages of a splint
- May establish final stability and comfort for the patient with occusal trauma
- Helpful to decrease mobility and accelerate healing following acute trauma to the teeth
- Allows remodelling of alveolar bone and periodontal ligament for orthodontically, splinted teeth
- Helpful in decreasing mobility thereby favouring regenerative therapy
- Distributes occusal forces over a wider area
Disadvantages of a splint
- All the splints hamper patients self care
- Accumulation of plaque at the splinted margins can lead to futher periodontal breakdown in a patient with already compromised periodontal support
- Number of studies have shown that splinting does not actually reduce tooth mobility once the splint is removed
- The splint being rigid acts as a lever with uneven distribution of forces, even if one tooth of the splint is in traumatic occlusion , it can injure the periodontium of all the teeth
- Developement of caries is highly likely, therefore regular dental visits are of paramount importance.
If you would like to know if you are a candidate for periodontal splinting, please e-mail or call Dr. Preis today to schedule an appointment.