Efficiency of pivot splints as jaw exercise apparatus in combination with stabilization splints in anterior disc displacement without reduction: a retrospective study

Head Face Med. 2014 Oct 9;10:42. doi: 10.1186/1746-160X-10-42.


Objective: To evaluate efficiency of pivot splints in jaw exercises, in combination with stabilization splints, in cases of anterior disc displacement without reduction of temporomandibular joint.

Subjects and methods: Twenty-three patients who referred to the prosthodontics clinic in 1995-1997 were included in the study, where anterior disc displacement without reduction of temporomandibular joint was diagnosed using magnetic resonance imaging and clinical examination. Pivot splints were used for jaw exercises for five minutes long; five times/day and stabilization splints were used at all other times. The patients were followed for 24 weeks. Lateral and protrusive excursions along with maximum mouth opening and were evaluated at each control. Bilateral palpation of temporal, masseter, sternocleidomastoid muscles and TMJ was assessed for pain perception before and after treatment. Data were statistically analyzed using Paired sample t-test and Independent Samples t-test (p < .05).

Results: Mean mandibular range of motion measurements increased from 28.74 mm prior to 49.17 mm on maximum opening; right/left lateral excursion from 7.61 mm to 12.04 mm and 4.09 mm to 7.3 mm on protrusion after treatment. All changes observed before and after treatment were found to be statistically significant. (p < .001) Pain symptoms were eliminated at the end of 24 weeks of treatment in all patients.

Conclusion: Using pivot splints as an exercise regimen along with a stabilization splint may be a viable treatment option for patients with anterior disc displacement without reduction; as normal mandibular range of motion was established and pain was eliminated.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / diagnosis
  • Joint Dislocations / physiopathology
  • Joint Dislocations / therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occlusal Splints*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / diagnosis
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / physiopathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult