Temporomandibular joint disk displacement without reduction. Treatment with flat occlusal splint versus no treatment.

Department of Stomatognathic Physiology, School of Dentistry, University of Lund, Malmö, Sweden.
Oral Surgery Oral Medicine Oral Pathology 07/1992; 73(6):655-8. DOI: 10.1016/0030-4220(92)90003-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A flat occlusal splint has been extensively used in the treatment of patients with temporomandibular joint disk displacement without reduction, but no studies with untreated controls have assessed its effect. We randomly assigned 51 patients with temporomandibular joint pain and arthrographically verified disk displacement without reduction to be treated with a flat occlusal splint or to serve as untreated control subjects in a 12-month clinical trial. Pain symptoms disappeared in about one third of the patients in each group. Another third of the patients in the control group improved. Sixteen percent of the patients in the control group and 40% of the patients treated with a flat occlusal splint were worse at the end than at the beginning of the study. Joint pain and muscle tenderness decreased more frequently in the nontreatment controls than in the treatment group. A statistically significant benefit of a flat occlusal splint over nontreatment control subjects could not be identified in this study of patients with painful disk displacement without reduction. The use of a flat occlusal splint in this patient group should therefore be reconsidered.

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