Wednesday, December 3, 2008

First Splint

Ok, I made my first splint.  Scared, thrilled and definitely converted.

TMD patient, continuous headaches and popping (early) bilaterally.  Marked tenderness in the cervical mm.

Delivered the splint with the lowest expectations possible...  As I was adjusting, she kept popping in protrusive so I finished up the posterior adjustments and decreased the protrusive slope- MAGIC!!!  The popping stopped.  The patient's eyes widened and I used Herb's phrase- Isn't that interesting.  She's a convert.  Now I'm going to experiment (should I say that?) through adjustment.  Everyone who said you learn through the splint was right.  I have already learned so much.

One caveat, I made them for free over Thanksgiving.  That has definitely got to change. 

As an update on all the situations that were discussed at Pankey, I have not found the ideal position or office to acquire.  I did get an offer but it was going to take 10 yrs to buy out and I want something a little sooner- I'm no spring chicken;)

I've got photos to post and will download (hopefully) this weekend.  You all know how slow I am to get these things together.  Any comments would be appreciated.


ptmatlock said...

That is awesome! I, too, have learned a great deal from the splints that I have made. Not just about the splint itself, but on occlusion in general. It really helped me just this morning, I seated a 6 unit FPD (9-14), and after all the records, models, temps and wax up, the final product went in beautifully. Occlusion is FUN... "Isn't that interesting?" ;)

DrKarenA said...

I've had a similar experience. I recently had a new patient who was in a car accident a few years ago and has been suffering from classic TMJ symptoms. Every muscle I palpated was sensitive! Her old DDS made her the weirdest looking appliance, it was soft molded plastic and it looked like a mouthguard that joined both the Maxillary and Mandibular arches together. The patient couldn't wear it. In fact I couldn't even orient it to see which arch was which.

So I made her a lower splint. The first night wearing it she had a lot of pain. By the time she came in for me to adjust the occlusion, a few days later, she was feeling much better. I've done a 3 occlusal adjustments and she has become symptom free. She wears it only at night during the week(since she is on the phone alot for work) but wears it 24/7 on weekends.

I only charged her my usual fee for a Nightguard, but I spent a lot more time fabricating and adjusting it than I do for a NG. I have to figure out what is a reasonable fee for it.

okie2thfairy said...


The patient came in today for a f/u appt and adjustment. She was practically GLOWING. She stated her pain was minimal and didn't require pain relievers and she was finally sleeping well.

Right now she is only comfortable when she is wearing it so we'll see how this works out. Her chiropractor is going to see her next week but she swears she doesn't need to see him because she's feeling so much better.

I'm planning on delivering 3 more splints next week. My boss is going to love this since he doesn't have to pay the lab fees and I spend my weekend making them for minimal cost to him. Karen, I understand your thinking. Maybe I need to charge him for my work;)