One of the things the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me is that it’s a stressful world out there and many of us are wearing our teeth away with harmful bruxism, clenching, or grinding habits. From cracked and fractured teeth to severe wear, erosion and TMJ jaw problems, we have seen a huge increase in these problems over the last couple of years.
To assist you in protecting your restorations (especially if you have dental implants) and prevent further wear on your teeth, we may recommend a nightguard or bite splint. All of ours are digitally designed and manufactured with the ideal fit and comfort. My favorite appliance is the comfort H/S bite splint which stands for hard/soft. There is a hard outer flat layer which trains your subconscious not to grind and absorbs all the forces of your teeth and a soft inner layer for maximum comfort. We also can provide a thermal splint which is hard, but softens as you warm it up in warm water prior to placing it in the mouth. It then cools and becomes hard again. This is also very popular.
For those people who clench and suffer from headaches and migraines most of the time, the NTI-TSS deprogramming appliance is the best, reducing the need for drugs with harmful side effects. This appliance fits on the front teeth and opens up the posterior teeth, reducing the muscular forces by up to 70 percent and drastically reducing tension headache and migraine severity.
The success of these therapies depends on the person following through and wearing the appliance. Fabrication is simple, a full arch scan and bite of the teeth is captured and sent to the lab, a completely digital process. Most of the time no adjustments to the appliance are needed.
Many of our family of patients are benefited so much from nightguard and splint therapy. The teeth should only touch during eating and if they come together during the day or night, then the appliance is warranted. If the stress of nighttime grinding or harmful habits is wearing down the teeth or causing problems, these appliances are the best, conservative short and long-term way to go before a very expensive surgery or full mouth reconstruction is needed. What was it somebody said? “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. We wholeheartedly agree!