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Splinting duration and periodontal outcomes for replanted avulsed teeth: a systematic review


Emeritus Professor Louise Brearley Messer, Melbourne Dental School, The University of Melbourne, 720 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Vic. 3010, Australia
Tel.: + 61 3 9341 1473
Fax: + 61 3 9341 1595


Abstract –  Clinical guidelines are now available for the management of avulsed teeth. The principles of evidence-based dentistry can be used to assess whether these guidelines are based on currently-available evidence. A qualitative systematic review was conducted of relevant clinical literature to examine the evidence on splinting duration and periodontal healing outcomes. The review was constrained markedly by small sample sizes, retrospective nature of clinical audits, dissimilarities of selected studies in their design, methodology and observation periods, and lack of uniformity in terminology for outcomes. A total of 138 replanted avulsed permanent teeth pooled from four papers each reporting both short-term splinting (14 days or less) and long-term splinting (over 14 days) in accord with current clinical guidelines, were studied. The evidence for an association between short-term splinting and an increased likelihood of functional periodontal healing, acceptable healing, or decreased development of replacement resorption, appears inconclusive. The study found no evidence to contraindicate the current guidelines and suggests that the likelihood of successful periodontal healing after replantation is unaffected by splinting duration. Pending future research to the contrary, it is recommended that dentists continue to use the currently-recommended splinting periods when replanting avulsed permanent teeth.