What’s an Anterior Repositioning Splint?
So I’m getting an Anterior Repositioning Splint for my jaw soon but I haven’t really been told what that is. What actually is it? Is it big? Made out of plastic or metal? And what is it actually used for?
Thanks, Glenn in New Jersey
The anterior repositioning splint (ARS) made out of acrylic are commonly used to to reposition or realign the condyles. The condyles are part of the temporomandibular joint, in other words the hinge in the jaw. This type of splint is necessary in the treatment of disc displacement common with TMJ disorder. Your dentist is recommending this type of device to place your jaw joints into a more normal position. The ARS will allow your lower jaw and temporomandibular joints to move into a forward position to reduce any clicks or lock jaw that may happen when you open and close your mouth. This will eventually put the condyle-disc relationship in a favorable position. The purpose is to eliminate any signs or symptoms related with disc interference disorders.
Usually these splints are worn full time for three to four months. They are a few millimeters thick and if worn on the top arch can affect ones speech. Eventually the splint is eliminated once normal positioning is reached. Some other reasons for wearing this type of appliance are clicking of the jaw joints, continuously locking of the jaw, and inflammatory disorders like retrodiscitis (inflammation of the discs). Its important to note that these types of appliances are to be worn for a short term only because they can cause bite changes overtime. The ARS will help the muscles and ligaments to relax therefore reduce the tension caused from grinding or clenching of the teeth as well.
This post is sponsored by Phoenix dentist Arthur Chal Esthetic and Reconstructive Dentistry.
Related link: TMJ dentist credentials