Rigidity of commonly used dental trauma splints


Dr Christine Berthold, Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Dental Clinic 1 – Operative Dentistry and Periodontology, Glueckstr.11, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
Tel.: +49 9131 85 34638
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e-mail: berthold@dent.uni-erlangen.de


Abstract –  Background/Aims:  The stability of immobilization devices varies from flexible to rigid, depending on the trauma. We evaluated the rigidity of various commonly used splints in vitro

Material and Methods:  An acrylic resin model was used. The central incisors simulated injured teeth, with increased vertical and horizontal mobility. The lateral incisors and canines stimulated uninjured teeth. Tooth mobility was measured with the Periotest® device. Vertical and horizontal measurements were made before and after splinting, and the difference between values was defined as the splint effect. We evaluated 4 composite splints, 3 wire-composite splints, a titanium trauma splint, a titanium ring splint, a bracket splint, and 2 Schuchardt splints

Results:  For all injured teeth and all splints, there was a significant splint effect for the vertical and horizontal dimensions (< 0.05). For injured teeth, the composite splints produced the largest changes in vertical tooth mobility; wire-composite splints 1 and 2, using orthodontic wires, produced the smallest vertical splint effects. For uninjured teeth, the Schuchardt 1 splint and the bracket splint produced the largest splint effects; wire-composite splints 1 and 2 produced only a slight change in tooth mobility. Composite splints 2 and 3 produced the largest horizontal splint effects for injured teeth, and the 4 composite splints produced the largest horizontal splint effects for uninjured teeth. The most horizontally flexible splints were the titanium trauma splint and wire-composite splints 1 and 2.

Conclusions:  According to the current guidelines and within the limits of an in vitro study, it can be stated that flexible or semirigid splints such as the titanium trauma splint and wire-composite splints 1 and 2 are appropriate for splinting teeth with dislocation injuries and root fractures, whereas rigid splints such as wire-composite splint 3 and the titanium ring splint can be used to treat alveolar process fractures.