Intraoral appliances include splints, orthotics, orthopedic appliances, bite guards, nightguards, and bruxing guards. They are used in TMD treatment, and fitted by dentists using many designs and materials. General dentists and dental specialists commonly use appliance therapy.
The most common reasons advocated for appliance therapy are to provide joint stabilization, protect the teeth, redistribute forces on the jaw, relax jaw-closing muscles, and decrease the effects of tooth grinding.
During the treatment period the appliance should be re-examined periodically and readjusted as necessary to accommodate changes in mandibular posture or muscle function that may affect the opposing tooth contacts on the appliance. Intraoral appliances need to be checked for fit and adjustment by the dentist for as long as they are worn.
Bruce Blasberg, DMD