Journal Article

The efficacy of anterior repositioning splint therapy studied by magnetic resonance imaging

D. Eberhard, H.‐P. Bantleon and W. Steger

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 24, issue 4, pages 343-352
Published in print August 2002 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online August 2002 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
The efficacy of anterior repositioning splint therapy studied by magnetic resonance imaging

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Magnetic resonance images (MRIs) were obtained of 52 temporomandibular joints (TMJs) of 30 patients with TMJ disease, before insertion of an anterior repositioning splint. Ten TMJs showed a normal disc–condyle relationship. Pathological findings were partial or complete anterior disc displacement with disc reduction (n = 18), without (n = 7), or with partial reduction (n = 4) or non‐reducing joints combined with osteoarthrosis (n = 13). Associated clinical findings were joint clicking, painful TMJ movements with or without condyle limitation, deviation, or crepitus. The clinical evaluation when compared with the MRIs correlated in 75 per cent of cases.

Immediate post‐insertion MRIs showed recapture of discs with a protrusive splint in 15 out of 18 reducing displacements. Recapture of the disc was seen in only two out of four joints with anterior disc displacement with partial disc reduction. There was no recapture in non‐reducing joints. In severe cases of internal derangement with a wide range of disc displacement combined with changes of the osseous joint surfaces, the recapturing of the articular disc with an anterior repositioning appliance was unsuccessful (0 of 13). The follow‐up for pain relief after one week showed a significant reduction of symptoms, despite the fact that recapture of the dislocated disc occurred in only 17 of the 42 pathological TMJs.

The possibility for disc recapture depends on the disc–condyle position and configuration, the integrity of the posterior attachment, and the degree of degenerative changes of the intra‐articular structures, such as osteophytosis, condylar erosion, or flattening of the articular disc. This diagnostic information influences the method of treatment of TMJ disorders. In non‐reducing joints or in the later stages of internal derangement of the TMJ, it is not possible to achieve a normal disc–condyle relationship using protrusive splints.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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