Why Do I Need a Splint?
Your dentist or endodontist may recommend that you wear a splint. Dental splints come in a variety of different forms that are used for various reasons. If you’re wondering why you need a splint, it could be due to any of the following.
Reasons for Dental Splints
Dental splints are a helpful tool when it comes to your oral health. The following conditions may be treated with a dental splint:
- Teeth grinding. If you grind your teeth on a regular basis it can cause long term and irreparable damage to your teeth. A splint can protect your teeth and reduce the harmful effects of teeth grinding by minimizing cracks.
- Trauma. A dental splint may be used to stabilize your teeth after an injury. It provides temporary support while the natural support structures heal and are capable of supporting your teeth again.
- Gum disease. Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth. Chronic, untreated gum disease can cause the teeth to become loose and even fall out. A splint can provide support for loose teeth while gum disease is treated.
- After surgery. A splint may be used to help stabilize your teeth after surgery while your mouth is healing.
- Snoring. A splint can be effective at reducing or preventing snoring by repositioning the jaw so that the tongue and mouth tissues won’t obstruct your airway while you sleep. It can also treat sleep apnea.
- Orthodontic treatment. Splints are also used in orthodontics to shift the teeth into proper alignment. In orthodontics they may be called oral appliances or aligners.
- Retention. Splints can also be used for retention, to keep the teeth in the desired position after orthodontic treatment. In this case a splint is referred to as a retainer.
- Teeth whitening. A splint can be used to apply teeth whitening treatment at home. Custom made splints make it easier to distribute the whitening agent evenly for best results.
Endodontic Uses for Dental Splints
Endodontics is a special field of dentistry that focuses on the dental pulp, the soft tissue at the center of each tooth. The health of a tooth depends on the pulp, as it contains the blood vessels and nerves that sustain the tooth.
When dental trauma occurs, such as a blow to the face or a fall that results in a dental injury, an endodontist can provide the necessary treatment to save one or more teeth. Teeth that are knocked loose or even knocked out can be replaced in many cases and a splint is used to stabilize them while the support structures heal. A splint may be used after endodontic surgery for stability during recovery.
Why Choose Forest Lake Endodontics?
You never expect dental trauma or emergencies to occur, but when they do, Forest Lake Endodontics provides skilled, reliable treatment. We are available when you need us.
Frequently Asked Questions About Splints
How long will I need to wear a splint?
The length of time you will need to wear a dental splint depends on your individual needs and your dentist’s instructions. It may be a few weeks, a few months, or even years in some situations.
Are splints visible?
Many splints are made of clear plastic that is virtually invisible on your teeth. In some cases the splint may consist of a metal wire that is placed behind your teeth where it is less visible. Most dental splints are discreet.