I heard that DTR therapy does not involve bite splints. Why not?
Splints basically separate back teeth and/or reposition the mandible. Ideally, splint construction should depend upon first ascertaining cartilage condition and position, since the splint can actually increase damage to the joints themselves by physically straining already compromised and damaged cartilage within the TMJ’s. Without objective ways of imaging and measuring the cartilage within the TMJ’s (via MRI) as well as how the joints effect the connected teeth, it is hard to predict which splint design is most appropriate for a particular patient, especially since one joint may be in a different condition than the other joint (example right to left side) in the same patient. Additionally, splints also remove the patients adaptive capacity to “move” their teeth around in the jaw bones via chronic muscular forces to fit to the status of their TMJ “hinges” since the teeth are all locked together by the splint, and muscular force is unable to move the teeth and align them properly (via clenching and grinding), in space and time, to “catch their bite up to the condition of their TMJ’s”. DTR “catches the bite up to the condition of the TMJ’s”, and can be expected to last for the patient as long as the joints themselves do not change their position, condition and general stability over time. Once the timing is proper due to a good alignment, muscular activity should reduce, with less pain and ischemia.