An occlusal splint is a smaller, stiffer version of a mouth-guard that is worn at night to prevent damage to your teeth through heavy grinding and clenching (‘bruxism’). The damage the teeth can suffer includes wearing down and exposing the sensitive and delicate parts of your teeth, the development of cracks in the teeth and also fractured teeth and/or fillings. Sometimes jaw soreness and inflammation can result. Wearing the splint will make sure your teeth are protected and may even reduce/eliminate your bruxism in the long term. Occlusal splints are also called night splints or grinding splints.
Impressions are taken of both your upper teeth and your lower teeth. These are then sent to our Dental Laboratory; they construct the occlusal splint. Two weeks later we issue you with the splint.
Wearing an occlusal splint does not guarantee full protection of your teeth and jaw. It is purely an aid to assist in protecting them.
The length of time a splint lasts depends wholly on how severe your particular grinding problem is. As the splint wears down, a replacement one will need to be constructed.
Every morning the splint should be rinsed under water (avoid very hot water as this will warp the splint). They can develop staining so appropriate denture cleaning agents can be used and they can be kept in a container when not being worn.