A TMJ splint is made of acrylic and goes on top of the teeth to change how a patient bites. The old bite does not match the ideal position of the jaw joints and the acrylic appliance repositions the joints more down and forward. This relieves the pressure on the joints and allows healing to occur. This is probably why most TMJ appliances work.
The term TMJ splint is not the best term to use for a TMJ appliance. A splint holds things together without movement whereas an appliance allows movement. Much of the terminology used for TMJ Syndrome is confusing. It started with TMJ being used to describe TMJ Syndrome. TMJ is an abbreviation for TemporoMandibular Joint. Everyone has 2 TMJs. Using TMJ to describe a syndrome doesn't make sense. However, the term has stuck and is used commonly.
A TMJ splint can be made either for the upper or the lower teeth. Dr. Padolsky prefers the lower since it is less likely to interfere with speech and gravity holds it down. Upper appliances also bind the upper jaw and prevent movement of the maxillary bones. There are many different types of appliances with different purposes.
Dr. Mark Allan Padolsky is an Atlanta TMJ Dentist who enjoys helping his patients get TMJ relief. Of course, you are welcome to join his family of patients. He offers both initial ( Phase 1 ) TMJ treatment, often with a TMJ splint, and can also restore the bite if a patient desires it ( Phase 2). If you have a TMJ problem and would like schedule a TMJ consultation with Dr. Padolsky, please call 404-874-7428 to schedule your appointment.