Teeth Splinting: Techniques and Types of Dental Splints


Teeth splinting is a dental procedure that has gained popularity because it’s non-invasive and rather effective.

Types of Dental Splints

There are a variety of different techniques and types of dental splints that are used in different situations. But what they have in common is that they all serve the function of stabilizing the tooth to preserve it and allow it to heal. They should also be rather flexible not to immobilize the tooth entirely, as it could lead to pulp necrosis and other issues. These are the general rules that splinting in dentistry follows. There’s a variety of dental splint types, but ordinarily they all are developed with an idea in mind that they should be capable of stabilizing the injured tooth, easily attached and removed, as well as not interfering with the soft tissues of the mouth. They also shouldn’t stop the usual oral hygiene. As for the aesthetics of them, they don’t usually look all that great, especially if it’s a temporary dental splint. There is a variety of braces though that can be customized to the patient’s needs, but they still need to remain functional.

Periodontal splinting is used when the teeth become loose from periodontal disease. If more than 60% of the supporting bone has deteriorated, splinting is required. It must be said that periodontal disease is not the only cause of loose teeth. It may be a result of a jaw injury, for example.

One of the most common dental splints is composite and wire splint. It allows the splint to be flexible while holding all the teeth in place. They’re also easy to apply, and the composite usually matches the color of the teeth very well, covering the splint and making it almost unnoticeable.

More and more dentists start splinting front teeth with fibre. These splints use polyethylene or kevlar fibre mesh and provide the patient with great flexibility. They don’t interfere with any of the soft tissues, and if they were, they wouldn’t cause any inflammation due to the material used.

Traditionally dentists have been splinting loose teeth with brackets and orthodontic wire. This is a type of long-term splint that can be of use after the tooth is treated. While the tooth is healing, it is important that brackets should not have any pressure on the teeth. It can be applied later to reposition some of the teeth if necessary.

A dental splint is generally permanent, however, in some cases the dentist may allow for a temporary dental splint. This includes cases where it’s possible to revert or stop the issues that caused the teeth to loosen in the first place. The splint is applied to the teeth and the patient wears it until the necessary treatment is complete. After that, it is removed. A night splint for teeth can also be categorized as a temporary dental splint.

A night splint is essentially a mouthguard for people suffering from teeth grinding. While they may control it during the day, in some cases it is unavoidable during sleep. These kind of splints are designed to protect the teeth at night, when the patient has no control over his teeth clenching habit.

Mouth splints also fall into this category. It is a type of dental splint for loose teeth that are worn by the patient to ease muscle tension in the jaw and stabilize the teeth. They all are made specifically for each patient by the dentist, and they are usually made of plastic. Such splints can really help with treating the issues with the teeth, as they can lessen the tension in the muscles if worn regularly.

Overall, splinting loose front teeth is not usually a problem for an experienced dentist. The choice of materials is entirely up to them. They will choose one dental splint type depending on the situation. If there has been an injury, they might use composite or fibre splint just to keep the teeth intact and prevent them from falling out while they’re treating the issues with the mouth. If a patient is suffering from bruxism, then they are usually prescribed with mouth splints or night splints, if it happens at night. Braces and orthodontic wire is also a very viable option, especially if it is implied that the teeth should also be moved after the treatment of the problematic tooth.

Why Teeth Splinting is Necessary

Dental splinting may be an unpleasant procedure, and the splints themselves could be plain and very noticeable, but dental health is more important. If your teeth have become loose, we advise you to contact your dentist at your earliest convenience. The cause of this might be very serious, it might be rather easy to deal with, but regardless, it’s better to deal with it as soon as possible.

Article Approved by:

D. Timothy Culotta General Dentist, DDS