Title Occlusal Splint Is More Effective Than Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation In Reducing Pain Due To Acute TMJ Disc Displacement Without Reduction
Clinical Question In adults with a TMJ acute disc displacement without reduction, will an occlusal splint or transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation be more effective in reducing TMD pain.
Clinical Bottom Line Using a VAS, occlusal splints were found to be more effective in reducing pain in adult patients with a TMJ acute disc displacement without reduction.
Best Evidence  
PubMed ID Author / Year Patient Group Study type
(level of evidence)
7610782Linde /199531 PatientsRandomized Controlled Trial
Key results50% of patients that were treated with occlusal splints had TMD pain improvement compared to only 6% of TENS-treated group.
Evidence Search (("Temporomandibular Joint Disorders"[Mesh]) AND "Occlusal Splints"[Mesh]) AND "Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation"[Mesh]
Comments on
The Evidence
All 31 patients in this randomized controlled trail were diagnosed with temporomandibular joint disk displacement without reduction. Authors excluded patients with any type of previous TMD treatment. Those selected for the TENS group had an electrode placed on their painful TMD and another on their anterior temporal muscle. The occlusal splint group used a conventional splint with cuspid guidance. Both groups were treated once a week. Results were recorded before and after each treatment visit.
Applicability The use of an occlusal splint is more effective in reducing pain in patients with acute temporomandibular joint disk displacement without reduction. Even though TENS has been proven to reduce pain, the amount of time and finances spent on the therapy outweighs its benefits. TMD patients with limited opening and tissue inflammation will find TENS therapy more beneficial. TENS can increase range of joint motion, improve tissue healing, and reduce muscle spasm.
Specialty (General Dentistry)
Keywords TMD, Acute disc displacement without reduction, occlusal splint, Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation
ID# 2281
Date of submission 04/25/2012
E-mail doanh@livemail.uthscsa.edu
Author Hoang Doan
Co-author(s) e-mail
Faculty mentor Edward F. Wright, DDS, MS
Faculty mentor e-mail WrightE2@uthscsa.edu
Basic Science Rationale
(Mechanisms that may account for and/or explain the clinical question, i.e. is the answer to the clinical question consistent with basic biological, physical and/or behavioral science principles, laws and research?)
None available
Comments and Evidence-Based Updates on the CAT
None available