And what comes after that?
After a stable jaw position has been reached and is corresponding planning has been done, the patient can make the decision if and how the treatment is going to continue. The following possibilities are available.
If dentition is predominantly made up of healthy virgin teeth, orthodontic treatment is the treatment of the choice. Even though a lot of patients do not choose this path due to the lack of time, poor experiences during childhood or concerns about the comfort level, this is often the most sensible medical solution. We will inform you about the different therapeutic measures that are suitable in your case.
If most of the teeth already have defects (decay, restorations, crowns etc), an overhaul of the dentition should be considered, and the new bite can be implemented with a prosthetic reconstruction. This is especially the case if the TMD has been induced by dental treatment. Often prosthetic treatment is used in combination with surgical and/or orthodontic treatment solutions. There the teeth are adapted with small adhesively retained ceramic pieces, where possible. They close the areas with defects and any discrepancies in the bite like a kind of puzzle piece.
Surgical or combined surgical-orthodontic treatment:
If extreme dysgnathias are apparent and a causative therapy solution is the solution of choice, surgical methods may be necessary. We recommend the homepage of Dr. Kater/Bad Homburg, http://www.dysgnathie.de for more information on this topic.
Or no further treatment is done and the patient continues to wear the splint.
This is probably not the best solution and it is not a final therapy. For patients that do not have a stable jaw position, it is recommended that they use the splint for some time to ensure the new found position is the correct one. This is even more important when the psycho-emotional components outweigh the others. It may also be necessary to prolong the stabilization phase due to financial reasons. Usually the patients themselves strive for a change.
Nevertheless Splints are often used at night as night guard, even often after the dentition has been treated prosthetically, as you as patient have managed to wear out the teeth previously, as well. Better safe than sorry.