If you grind and clench your teeth at night, or have a TMJ disorder, Dr. Damien Garcia and Dr. Lisa Gortari may recommend that you wear a night guard. Also known as a bite splint or an occlusal splint, this oral appliance helps protect your teeth and oral tissues from damage so that you can continue to enjoy a healthy smile. Call Oasis Family Dental today at 956-661-1000 for more information about night guards in McAllen, Texas, and to schedule an appointment with our caring dentists.
Bite splints can make a world of difference for bruxing and grinding patients, alleviating pain and preventing further destruction of existing healthy dentition.
Occlusal splints (also called bite splints, bite planes, or night guards) are removable dental appliances carefully molded to fit the upper or lower arches of teeth.
They are used to protect tooth and restoration surfaces, manage mandibular (jaw) dysfunction and TMD, stabilize the jaw joints during occlusion or create space prior to restoration procedures. People prone to nocturnal bruxism, or nighttime clenching, may routinely wear occlusal splints at night. However, a meta-analysis of occlusal splints used for this purpose concluded there is not enough evidence to state that the occlusal splint is effective for treating sleep bruxism.
Occlusal splints are typically made of a heat-cured acrylic resin. Soft acrylic, light cured composite, or vinyl splints may be made more quickly and cheaply. But they are not as durable, and are more commonly made for short-term use. Soft splints are also used for children, because normal growth changes the fit of hard splints.
The splints generally cover all the teeth of the upper or lower arch, but partial coverage is sometimes used. Occlusal splints are usually used on either the upper or the lower teeth, termed maxillary splints or mandibular splints, respectively. Sometimes, both types are used at the same time. Maxillary splints are more common, although various situations favor mandibular splints.
Stabilizing, or Michigan-type, occlusal splints are generally positioned flat against the opposing teeth, and help jaw muscle relaxation. Repositioning occlusal splints are used to reposition the jaw to improve occlusion.
We welcome you to contact our office today to schedule your consultation with our dentists and find out which type of night guard will be most beneficial for you.