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The dental splint or plate (orthotic splint)

bite Milano

The dental bite (also called mouth guard, splint, or ferula ) is a plate generally made of rigid resin which, in cases of malocclusion or other parafunctions, is inserted between the 2 dental arches.

It therefore has the function of correcting the position of the jaw, without intervening in an aggressive and permanent way on the teeth. It may be necessary both for muscular reasons (i.e. due to non-physiological activities such as muscle tension, clenching, grinding, i.e. bruxism) or for joint (surface alterations of the TMJ Temporo-Mandibular Joint).

We invite you to discover with us at the Bracchetti Dental Clinic in Milan for what reasons the bite is used, the various types of bite, and the benefits and methods of cleaning and maintenance.

Why do you use the bite

One of the main reasons for using the bite is malocclusion. This means that the jaw and mandible do not coincide in an ideal way, leading to various problems for those who suffer from it. The bite is used to correct the closure of the 2 arches and can be used at night and/ or during the day, always following the dentist's instructions.

Malocclusions can be due to both hereditary factors and unsuccessful interventions. This can also cause annoying headaches and back pain. Snoring at night can also be the consequence of  incorrect closure between the jaws which in turn can modify the airways and create an obstruction between the nose and larynx.

Sometimes the bite is used as a diagnostic tool to experiment with a certain position of the mandible/ maxilla before moving on to a definitive prosthetic solution.

Oftentimes subconsciously, we are victims of parafunctions, that is, of repeated and prolonged incorrect actions that cause stress on the teeth, muscles and joints.

An important use of the bite is for the treatment of bruxism, that is the involuntary grinding of the teeth day and night. Bruxism damages the enamel and causes abrasion, predisposes teeth to decay, increases the sensitivity of the teeth to hot and cold, and can also cause headaches. If prolonged over time it can also cause problems affecting the TMJ, the temporomandibular joint. In the most serious cases, teeth can even break or damage/ fracture crowns, inlays, and prosthetics.

In addition to resolving problems of malocclusion, bruxism and / or teeth clenching, the bites can be used to correct postural disorders. In these cases, the design must take place after relaxing the muscles with specific maneuvers.

In the posturological field the bite can be a fundamental tool if designed appropriately.

The use of the bite to improve and solve postural problems highlights the fact that the various parts of the human body are connected to each other. The approach of the Bracchetti Dental Practice is based on this premise.

Types of bite

It is essential that the bite is not standardized (such as self-modeling or soft resin or silicone bites sold in pharmacies) but that it is created to be customized and unique to the patient. Our team will prepare one custom designed according to the specific characteristics and needs of your teeth, after obtaining a conventional or digital impression of your dental arches. The bite is then made using rigid acrylic resins analogically or digitally with the CAD CAM method (computerized milling machine) in our internal laboratory to maintain absolute quality control.

The fundamental element of successful bite therapy are the periodic checks after the delivery of the bite itself . In fact, precisely because of the muscle deprogramming that is obtained, the bite must be checked and corrected, checking the points of contact, at regular intervals. At first every 15 days and then at longer intervals until a definitive stability is achieved.

All this is included and is an integral part of the treatment with a dental bite that is delivered to the patients of the Bracchetti Dental Clinic .

We can distinguish the bites into 3 main types:

  1. Release plates, or bite planes, which have an almost flat contact surface with the teeth of the opposite arch. These are the most frequently used bites. The goal of this type of plaque is to deprogram the masticatory muscles from a neuro-muscular point of view and therefore to promote muscle relaxation.
  2. Reposition plates, also called orthotic, with which you look for an anatomy of the teeth and consequently contacts and positioning of the arches different from the current one.
  3. Neutral plates that replicate the shape of the teeth and simply have the function of protecting the teeth from abrasion.

The benefits of the bite

The use of the bite following the therapeutic indications brings various benefits. First of all, it preserves the enamel and protects it from rubbing and excessive wear.

In addition, it can give relief as it decreases the strength of the muscle contractions of the jaw, thus relaxing not only the chewing muscles but also those of the shoulders, neck. This often leads to the interruption of the parafunctions that is, as explained above, the repeated and prolonged incorrect actions, such as bruxism, grinding and locking, which stress the teeth, muscles and joints.

With the bite we are therefore able to cure many ailments that are not obviously connected to the teeth. Instead, at the base there could be a bad match between the two dental arches.

Obviously, positive results can be obtained with constant use of the bite and following medical indications.

Cleaning the bite

As we have already said before, the bite can solve several fundamental problems for the health of patients. Another aspect that should not be forgotten is to practice cleaning the bite . Bacteria and limescale accumulations can affect its functionality and duration over time. This could irreversibly compromise its functionality.

To ensure proper hygiene of the bite and therefore its efficiency, we recommend that you keep it in a protected place and clean it daily with a mixture of mouthwash and water, scrubbing it with a toothbrush.

Finally, we suggest a more thorough cleaning once a month, immersing the bite in a glass with water and an effervescent tablet for cleaning dentures, easily available in pharmacies and supermarkets. Then, remove the bite and rinse it by brushing it with a toothbrush with hard bristles or with an old dental brush so that it is ready for the next use.

Occasionally, if the limescale deposits and any stains are not entirely removed from the pads and toothbrush, the bite can be cleaned even more effectively and deeply by the technicians of the Bracchetti Dental Clinic, who can immerse it in an ultrasonic bath and restore it to it's optimal condition.


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