With the progression of advanced periodontal disease, teeth can become loose and unstable. Known as “secondary occlusal trauma,” the roots of the teeth and gums are no longer able to keep the teeth firmly intact. Bite force can exacerbate this condition, amplifying the risk to your teeth.
Once your periodontal disease reaches this point, periodontal stabilization splints become medically necessary to preserve your teeth.
Identifying the Three Main Types of Splints
We recommend periodontal stabilization sprints to our patients when their gum disease makes it impossible for their teeth to remain in place any longer without outside help. Primary reasons a patient may need one of these splints include:
- Severe recession of your gums
- Injury to the site
- Advanced bone loss
- Drifting teeth (due to tooth loss)
- Excessive bite force
Splints are medically necessary to help take stress off any individual tooth, improving the patient’s ability to chew effectively. It also helps preserve any remaining bone at the site of the damaged tooth and prevent any jaw pain that can result from an altered bite.
There are three main types of splints we offer our patients, depending on their individual need.
- Temporary Splints: These include both “extra-coronal splints” and “intra-coronal splints”. Extra-coronal splints bond to the enamel of teeth, securing them, whereas intra-coronal splints dig a groove into the teeth and cementing a split into place.
- Permanent Splints: Also known as “fixed splints”, this type involves fusing a series of crowns together over the affected teeth.
- Occlusal Splints: When patients grind their teeth (bruxism), these splints can help protect them. These are removable guards that can be inserted during sleeping or other times wherein the patient may grind their teeth.
Having loose teeth does not automatically mean that you’re going to lose your teeth, even in the presence of advanced periodontal disease. We give our patients a variety of custom-tailored options to help prevent loss of the teeth and to protect the gums, bone, and jaw.
If you’re experience loose teeth, it’s vital that you call our office right away to schedule an appointment. The longer you delay treatment, the worse the prognosis may be for your teeth. When you come in for your exam, we will carefully assess the health of your teeth and gums and, if we determine that you need splints, we will work with you every step of the way to ensure your comfort while saving your teeth and your smile.