Efficacy of tooth splinting and occlusal adjustment in patients with periodontitis exhibiting masticatory dysfunction: A systematic review

J Clin Periodontol. 2022 Jun:49 Suppl 24:149-166. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.13563. Epub 2021 Dec 1.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of tooth splinting (TS) and occlusal adjustment (OA) compared to no TS or OA in patients with periodontitis exhibiting masticatory dysfunction.

Material: The primary outcome criterion was tooth loss (TL), and the secondary outcome parameters were change in probing pocket depth (PPD), change in clinical attachment level (CAL), tooth mobility (TM), and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). Literature search was performed on three electronic databases (from 01/1965 to 04/2021) and focused on clinical studies with at least 12 months follow-up.

Results: From a total of 1515 publications, 51 articles were identified for full-text reading, of which 2 retrospective case series on TS with low risk of bias and 1 randomized and 2 prospective studies on OA with unclear risk of bias were included. For TS, synthesis of data showed that in 72 patients, 26 out of 311 teeth (weighted mean incidence of TL 8.4%) and 156 out of 1541 teeth with no TS (weighted mean incidence of TL 10.1%) were lost over 2 years following non-surgical periodontal therapy. The randomized controlled clinical trial (RCT) indicated CAL gain for teeth with OA compared to no OA. For the effect of OA on TL, PPD, and TM, heterogeneous data were retrieved from the included studies.

Conclusions: Within the limitations of this review and based on a low level of evidence, it is concluded that TS does not improve survival of mobile teeth in patients with advanced periodontitis. OA on teeth with mobility and/or premature contacts may lead to improved CAL, while the effect of OA on the remaining periodontal parameters remains unclear.

Keywords: occlusal adjustment; occlusal equilibration; periodontal splinting; periodontitis; secondary occlusal trauma; tooth survival.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Occlusal Adjustment
  • Periodontitis* / complications
  • Periodontitis* / therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Tooth Loss* / complications
  • Tooth Mobility* / complications
  • Tooth Mobility* / therapy