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Oral Orthotics & The Dental Role

"Effective clinical management of post cervical hyperextension flexion injury patients should include evaluation and possible treatment of the temporomandibular joint and masticatory system to assure maximum resolution of pain and optimal management of the dysfunction associated with the cervical hyperextension hyperflexion injury."
Braun et.al., University of Minnesota School of Dentistry,
Journal of Craniomandibular Disorders Facial and Oral Pain Vo. 6 (#1), 1992.

While this part of the website is "Under Construction" and should be up by 10/31/13,
I would like to make a few comments in the meantime.

First, and this is an absolute truth that is that is too often ignored, NO ORAL ORTHOTIC/BITE SPLINT WILL WORK IF THE PATIENT DOES NOT WEAR IT! You must have patient compliance to have any chance of success, no matter what technique or type of orthotic you use. This includes issues such as appearance, comfort, ease of swallowing, interference with speech patterns and more.

Second, when using an oral orthotic in treatment of a TMD you must make sure to avoid unwanted orthodontic movement of the teeth (e.g. extrusion, intrusion, etc.).

Third, outside of parafunctional activity (e.g. clenching and grinding), the maxillary teeth contact the mandibular teeth infrequently (about 5 minutes out of 24 hours when swallowing) however, initial occlusal contact influences head/neck posture and head/neck posture influences initial occlusal contact.

These facts should be considered by anyone treating TMD patients.


Email Dr. Steigerwald at: info@whiplashandtmj.com or call 631-749-1534 (NY)

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