AMGCE with Dr. Hess

Contemporary Splints and Treating TMJ: More Than a Night Guard

Course Description:

Splint therapy is a major source of frustration for many dentists. The question is often
the same, “How can something so seemingly simple be so diffi cult and unpredictable?” Dentists often feel
confused about what type of appliance to prescribe. The clinician is unsure if they are making a nightguard,
a testing device, or just something to give to a patient when they just don’t know what to do, but they
know they need to do something.
There are also questions about how it should be designed and fabricated. And there is the concern of
patient comfort and compliance. Factor in the confusion about the length of treatment as well as the goals
of splint therapy, and you have a recipe for frustration. All of the above about splints can be summed up by
a great quote from Dr. Peter Dawson, “In spite of its popularity as the most common treatment for orofacial
pain related to TMJ disorders, it is still considered by many as a ‘mysterious treatment’ that no one really
The reality is that appropriate splints do work. Unfortunately, splints can also make a patient worse when
the wrong appliance is prescribed or when they are improperly designed.

What You Will Learn
• Learn through a complete examination how to diagnose the health of the TMJ
• Understand the role of CBCT in joint diagnosis
• Better understand the different splint appliances and how they work
• Learn why people end up needing splints and what to do after therapy

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