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Discharge splint

The stress , improper handling of emotions, food, improper alignment of the teeth, poor posture and sleep habits are the main causes of the bruxism . What is bruxism? It is the action of unconsciously grinding the teeth during moments of tension or during sleep. In general, people who suffer from bruxism squeeze their upper teeth tightly against their lower teeth and, as if that were not enough, that same pressure is exerted to the sides and up and down.

Bruxism, as we will explain later, can have very negative consequences for health, but above all it can considerably affect the well-being of the entire oral structure. To treat bruxism, dentists recommend their patients the use of a discharge splint , find out below what this treatment consists of and how it can help you preserve the health of your teeth.

What is a discharge splint

The discharge splint is a plastic plate that measures between 2 or 3 millimeters thick and is placed in the upper dental arch to prevent the upper teeth from coming into contact with the lower teeth and thus prevent any type of friction that could wear down the teeth. teeth.

With the use of the discharge splint for bruxism, the muscles are also relaxed and the jaw is kept in its normal location. Therefore, in addition to preventing a person from grinding their teeth, the splint also helps to combat the most annoying symptoms of bruxism such as jaw pain, tooth pain, pressure in the ears, plugged ears and headaches.

Although the use of the discharge splint is of great help to preserve dental health and avoid the discomfort caused by grinding the teeth, the plastic structure does not completely eliminate the bad positions that the person has already adopted in the jaw, for Therefore, once the appliance is removed from the mouth, the person may revert to an incorrect posture and again generate friction between the teeth without realizing it.

Therefore, the success of the shock splint is that the person gets used to it and uses it during those moments when they know that they tend to grind their teeth, for example, while sleeping, at work, driving or in any other moment that you have identified that causes jaw tension. Many people with bruxism use the shock splint to sleep, however, in some cases the bruxism is much more serious and the person grinds their teeth for most of the day.

How is a discharge splint made?

Dental splints are plates that are custom designed from the molds of each person’s dental structure, therefore, they cannot be bought in a store, much less can they be loaned or transferred to other people. Currently most splints are made with resin and are 100% safe for the health of the human body. Now let’s get to know the process to get a dental splint.

Visit to the dentist

When symptoms of bruxism appear, the first thing to do is attend a consultation with the dentist. At this appointment, the expert will evaluate the teeth for signs that indicate that the person is grinding their teeth and will also ask certain questions about the person’s daily habits and what symptoms they present. Headache, tooth wear, bleeding gums, earache, stiff muscles and the temporomandibular joint are important signs of bruxism.

Given that no teeth are the same as another, the dentist should request imaging tests of the oral structure to finish corroborating the diagnosis and to know which parts of the oral structure have been more affected than others. These tests can be: panoramic, lateral cephalic and complete periapical.

Taking impressions

The discharge splint is made from an exact mold of the mouth.

In a second visit to the dentist, the expert must take the impressions of the teeth, which is nothing more than making the molds that will offer the shape that the discharge splint should have. To do this, a kind of tray is filled with elastic material and the person must bite into said material to etch all of their dental structure.

Once the impressions are ready, the dentist sends them to a dental laboratory to create the custom, non-transferable discharge splint. The splint can be created for the upper or lower teeth, this will depend on the person’s bruxism.

Delivery of the discharge splint

When the splint is ready, the person goes to the dentist again to try it on. It is important to inform the dental expert of any discomfort experienced when trying on the discharge splint, whether it be excess pressure, pain, difficulty fitting the teeth correctly, or a feeling that the splint is too small. The dentist can file the resin to slightly mold the splint, but if the discomfort persists, it is likely that the procedure will need to be performed again.

It is important to note that the splint is made of a hard material, so it will always be somewhat uncomfortable at first. Therefore, many of those first signs of discomfort are nothing more than a lack of splint habit. Likewise, in all subsequent visits to the dentist, the expert must thoroughly review the splint for damage, imperfects or any other problem that may be causing discomfort.

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It is also important to note that if the discharge splint is not used for several days, repositioning it may cause pain or discomfort when inserting the teeth into it. If the pressure or discomfort is very strong, it is important to go to the dentist to evaluate if a dental displacement has occurred during the days that the splint was not used.

Discharge splint for bruxism

Having bruxism, having a discharge splint done, using it and eliminating the discomfort seems like a very simple scenario, but the truth is that it is not. Getting used to using the discharge splint is not an easy task, to the point that more than a few people have stored theirs in a drawer and have never used it again.

Why does this happen? Because the splint, while the person gets used to it, can be somewhat annoying or cause a little pressure on the teeth, in addition, it increases salivation and it is somewhat uncomfortable to have a foreign body inside the oral structure. But the same thing happens with a new pair of retainers, therefore, it is a matter of getting the idea that it must be used until the boa and the mind are fully educated to its use.

Now, what happens if we give up the use of the splint and keep it on the bedside table like so many people have done? Your teeth are in danger! Dentists do not insist on making the use of the splint a habit because they are bad people, on the contrary, they know more than anyone the risk that the entire oral structure runs if you turn a blind eye to bruxism. Here are some of the fundamental reasons why you should use the shock splint if you have bruxism:

  • The discharge splint promotes relaxation of the jaw muscles. Most people who begin to wear the splint are shocked to realize how much they were used to unconsciously holding their muscles in tension. The relief is amazing!
  • To get an idea of ​​the damage that bruxism does, it is important to note that the force with which the teeth are grinded can be up to 6 times stronger than the effort made while chewing food. Both the force and the number of hours that a person spends grinding their teeth can cause negative consequences such as wear of the enamel, total or partial deviation of the jaw, gum disease, bleeding, tooth sensitivity, broken teeth, modification of tooth alignment, among other consequences.
  • By clenching our teeth we endanger the entire temporomandibular joint, especially the disc of the jaw. Wearing the shock splint is helpful in preventing clicks when opening the mouth or, even more seriously, locking the jaw.

Discharge splint care

The discharge splint is a dental appliance that we must take great care of to keep it in good condition and to preserve oral health. In addition to basic care such as always keeping it in its case, not leaving it exposed to bacteria and washing it with drinking water every day, it is important to know some recommendations that will facilitate your day to day using a discharge splint:

  • Make regular appointments with your dentist to check your splint and make any necessary adjustments.
  • You must place the splint with your fingers and it must be wet. The moisture in the splint helps prevent the splint from breaking when biting into it and prevents injury to the gums.
  • You should also remove the dental splint with your fingers, pulling on both sides at the same time. Then wash it with drinking water and toothpaste and store it without drying it, it is important that it stays moist!
  • Once a week you should immerse the dental splint for 2 hours in a container with water and a bar of soap for dental prostheses, this will help you more effectively eliminate bacteria. This recommendation is very important, since if the splint is not carried out, it can smell bad and cause halitosis. After soaking the prosthesis, wash it again with drinking water and toothpaste before placing it on your teeth.

How much does a shock splint cost?

There are not few people who wonder the cost of the discharge splint, and there are not few who give up having it due to its price. The truth is that, like all dental prostheses, the splint is made with special materials that, due to their function, must be of the best possible quality. In addition, the taking of impressions and the entire process of making the splint are increasing the account.

Currently the average price of a discharge splint is between 180 and 200 euros and, depending on the dental center where the prosthesis is performed, financing plans may or may not be available. Although it may seem like an expensive investment for some, it is important to assess the long-term risk of not using a shock splint because, at present, only the use of a prosthesis is required to prevent the consequences of bruxism, in the future it may requiring more complex and expensive procedures, such as full denture replacement.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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