Occlusal Splints and Periodontal/Implant Therapy

Authors: Pimchanok Sutthiboonyapan and Hom-Lay Wang


Background: Occlusal trauma, defined as an injury to the tooth or implant supporting tissues, is a resultant of parafunctional habits such as bruxism. It has been shown to accelerate periodontal breakdown and also contribute to implant complications, thereby adversely affecting the long-term success of periodontal and implant therapy. This literature review aims to discuss the effects of bruxism on periodontal and implant treatment. In addition, the effectiveness of occlusal splints to manage bruxism will be examined. Methods: An electronic literature search using PubMed and Scopus databases and a manual search for relevant papers published in English from January 1965 up to August 2017 was performed. Results: An occlusal splint appears to be effective in reducing symptoms related to temporomandibular disorder and bruxism. However, high quality evidence is severely lacking to support its use. Therefore, as it is a non-invasive and reversible therapy, its use in patients with bruxism is proposed.

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