The NTI-TSS device for the therapy of bruxism, temporomandibular disorders, and headache – where do we stand? A qualitative systemic review of the literature

Clinic for Reconstructive Dentistry and Temporomandibular Disorders, Dental School, Hebelstrasse 3, 4056 Basel, Switzerland.
BMC Oral Health (Impact Factor: 1.13). 08/2008; 8(1):22. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6831-8-22
Source: PubMed


The NTI-tss device is an anterior bite stop, which, according to the manufacturer, is indicated for the prevention and treatment of bruxism, temporomandibular disorders (TMDs), tension-type headaches, and migraine. The aim of this systematic review was to appraise the currently available evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of the NTI-tss splint.
We performed a systematic search in nine electronic databases and in NTI-tss-associated websites (last update: December 31, 2007). The reference lists of all relevant articles were perused. Five levels of scientific quality were distinguished. Reporting quality of articles about randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was evaluated using the Jadad score. To identify adverse events, we searched in the identified publications and in the MAUDE database.
Nine of 68 relevant publications reported about the results of five different RCTs. Two RCTs concentrated on electromyographic (EMG) investigations in patients with TMDs and concomitant bruxism (Baad-Hansen et al 2007, Jadad score: 4) or with bruxism alone (Kavakli 2006, Jadad score: 2); in both studies, compared to an occlusal stabilization splint the NTI-tss device showed significant reduction of EMG activity. Two RCTs focused exclusively on TMD patients; in one trial (Magnusson et al 2004, Jadad score: 3), a stabilization appliance led to greater improvement than an NTI-tss device, while in the other study (Jokstad et al 2005, Jadad score: 5) no difference was found. In one RCT (Shankland 2002, Jadad score: 1), patients with tension-type headache or migraine responded more favorably to the NTI-tss splint than to a bleaching tray. NTI-tss-induced complications related predominantly to single teeth or to the occlusion.
Evidence from RCTs suggests that the NTI-tss device may be successfully used for the management of bruxism and TMDs. However, to avoid potential unwanted effects, it should be chosen only if certain a patient will be compliant with follow-up appointments. The NTI-tss bite splint may be justified when a reduction of jaw closer muscle activity (e.g., jaw clenching or tooth grinding) is desired, or as an emergency device in patients with acute temporomandibular pain and, possibly, restricted jaw opening.

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    • "Insufficient evidence to support or refute the use of arthrocentesis and joint lavage for TMJ disorders treatment Stapelmann, 2008 (61) NTI-tss device 9 Qualitative systematic NTI-tss device may be successfully used for the management of bruxism and TMDs Caution to avoid potential unwanted effects Guarda-Nardini, 2008 (62) TMJ total prosthesis 30 Systematic Encouraging outcomes for all the three total prosthetic systems currently available on market Too few research groups involved Abrahamsson, 2007 (63) Orthognathic surgery 3 Systematic Low methodological quality of included studies No conclusions on how and if orthognathic surgery affects TMD "
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    ABSTRACT: The defining characteristic of a profession - and especially a health-care profession - is that the behaviour of its members is proscribed by a formal code of ethics. The main purpose of such codes is to guide practitioners' interactions with patients, assuring that patient interests are protected. In other words, the ethical code requires practitioners to place their patients' needs for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment ahead of their own needs for income and advancement. The dental profession has a code of ethics that was developed by the American Dental Association many years ago; in most clinical situations, determination of proper behaviour is self-evident. However, the field of temporoman-dibular disorders (TMDs) has been the subject of considerable controversy for over half a century, and many people have argued that this makes it impossible to evaluate various approaches to treatment of TMDs within an ethical framework. In this article, the authors argue that the large volume of scientific evidence in the contemporary TMD literature provides an ethical framework for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with TMDs within a biopsychosocial medical model. They present a summary of the research with contemporary scientific integrity, which has produced that information over a period of many years. Based on that research, they conclude that dentists may provide conservative and reversible treatments that will be successful for most TMDs and in doing so will comply with the profession's code of ethics. Conversely, the authors claim that those dentists who continue to follow the older mechanistic models of TMD aetiology and treatment are not only out of step scientifically, but are placing their patients' welfare at risk by providing unnecessary irreversible bite-changing and jaw-repositioning interventions. Therefore, debate of these issues should not be solely focused on scientific merit, but also upon the compelling ethical obligations that dentists have as a result of the contemporary scientific literature regarding TMDs.
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    • "Furthermore, psychotherapeutic and cognitive behavioral treatment procedures are being used [11]. With regard to splint therapy, the more recent evidence confirms an effectiveness of ready-made occlusal appliances or interceptors without adjusted surfaces for the treatment of TMD-associated complaints [12,13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Painful temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are usually treated with physiotherapy, self-exercises, medication-based therapy and splint therapy. For splint therapy different types of splints are available. Therefore this randomized controlled study compared the effectiveness of a semi-finished occlusal appliance (SB) with a laboratory-made occlusal appliance (SS) in myofascial pain patients. The trial subjects allocated to the experimental groups with the (SB) occlusal appliance and those provided with a laboratory-made occlusal appliance (SS) did, in addition, receive conservative treatment (self-exercises, drug-based and manual therapy). The control group was given conservative therapy (CO) only. Overall, a total of 63 patients participated in the study with each group consisting of 21 subjects. When the first follow-up examination took place (14 days after splint insertion) mouth opening within the SB group was significantly enlarged. When the second examination was conducted (2.5 months after splint insertion) mouth opening was significantly enlarged in both splint groups when compared with the initial value. In the control group, no significant enlargement of mouth opening was detected. At no point there was a significant reduction in the number of pressure-sensitive areas of the TMJ. On palpation of the masticatory muscles however, a significant reduction in the number of pressure-sensitive areas could be observed within the CO group and the SS group after 2.5 months. When comparing pain reduction (muscle/joint pain) and mouth opening, no significant differences could be detected between the treatments. The results suggest that TMD should be treated conservatively. In cases of restricted mouth opening, the additional use of occlusal appliances can eliminate the patient’s discomfort more quickly. In this context, the tested, semi-finished occlusal appliance appears to offer an immediately available, temporary alternative to laboratory-made splints.
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