Injury, periodontal disease, misalignment, and orthodontic treatment can cause teeth to become loose. An unstable tooth is not only uncomfortable, but it can also interfere with eating and speaking. A technique called periodontal splinting uses a composite material or stabilization device to join the loose tooth with a neighboring stable tooth. The combined "tooth" is stronger and more stable than the individual teeth. To setup an appointment for periodontal splinting at Dentalville Panorama City in Los Angeles, please call us at (818) 452-0045.
Extracoronal splinting is a reversible procedure that uses a stabilizing device of fiber-reinforced or cast metal or wire mesh. The device is bonded to the outside of the teeth similar to an orthodontic arch wire. Since extra-coronal splints are prone to fracture, they are normally only used on a short-term basis.
Intracoronal splinting involves creating a chamber inside the affected teeth. The stabilization device is then inserted into the chamber and secured into place. Intra-coronal splints are normally used on the bicuspids and molars at the back of the mouth.
In certain circumstances, inlays, onlays, and crowns can be splinted together for a strong yet aesthetically pleasing result.
By connecting teeth together, you reduce the pressure and force exerted on each individual tooth. This can limit damage to the supporting bone and ligaments and prevent or significantly delay tooth loss. For a comparison, think of how much easier it is to break a single stick than it is to break a group of sticks bundled together.
Periodontal splints can help prevent a phenomenon known as bite collapse or loss of vertical dimension of occlusion. Bite collapse occurs when normal chewing forces cause loose teeth to shift or tip toward the cheeks. This causes the jaw to rotate closer together and the chewing muscles to shorten. This can result in jaw pain and a change in the shape of the face.
The disadvantages of periodontal splinting are minimal when compared to the disadvantages of living with a loose tooth or losing the tooth altogether. Depending on the exact technique and materials used, extracoronal splinting may be visible, which some patients consider aesthetically unappealing.
Periodontal splints also make it more difficult to clean between the teeth. This can allow bacterial plaque to collect and lead to the development of cavities. Patients with periodontal splints need to pay special attention to their oral care regimen and use appropriate hygiene aids to ensure that they clean between the teeth.
Since most teeth requiring splinting became loose as the result of severe periodontal disease, additional treatments may also be necessary to improve the health of the teeth and gums, including:
Periodontal splinting is a highly effective method of preserving your natural teeth and delaying the need for implants, bridges, or dentures. Call us today for a consultation to determine if periodontal splinting is right for you.
“I was sure I just needed a filling, but when I saw that my filling had almost completely fallen away with the wand that showed my smile on the monitor, it was obvious I would need a crown or face losing the whole tooth. I was able to get a special price on the crown which made things easier for me personally. I am glad for the help and thank Dentalville for working with me and providing great service and care. Will be back”
- Clement Douglas