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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 496-501

Dentists' knowledge of occlusal splint therapy for bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorders

1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey
2 Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey
3 Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Y T Korkmaz
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.183310

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Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate dentist's approaches to the use of splint therapy for myofascial pain, bruxism, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and to assessment of treatment modalities. Materials and Methods: A 12-item questionnaire was developed to determine dentists' knowledge of TMJ disorders and approaches for occlusal splint treatments. The researchers spoke with each dentist included in the study at his/her clinic or by telephone to assess their immediate knowledge and approach to the TMJ disorders. Chi-squared test was performed to analyze the values. The confidence interval was set as 95%. Results: A total of 370 dentists working in Turkey were participated in this study. The most common splint application reason for occlusal splint treatment was bruxism (77.8%) while TMJ pain was very rare (%1.4). The use of hard splint ratios for 0–5 years of professional experience was 57.0%, 42.4.0%, and 26.8% for the experience of 5–15 years and over 15 years groups, respectively (P < 0.001). While the dentists' with sufficient knowledge soft splint application rates were 11.6%, hard splint application rates were 43.4% for the dentists with sufficient knowledge. Occlusion adjustment rate of dentists who practice in all three groups was under 16.0%. Conclusions: The knowledge of the dentists about TMJ disorders and occlusal splint therapy were found to be insufficient. Their knowledge decreased with increasing experience.

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