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Periodontal Stabilization Splints

Periodontal stabilization splints are used to stabilize teeth which have become loose as a result of losing the supporting bone around them to periodontal disease, a condition known as secondary occlusal trauma. Frequently the problem is complicated by heavy bite stress.

Periodontal disease can cause cause teeth to loosen and eventually be lost.

Periodontal disease can destroy enough tooth supporting alveolar bone that teeth can loosen and eventually be lost. This happens more frequently with the back teeth.

If the teeth have lost more than 40% of the supporting alveolar bone around them, a diagnosis of “severe” periodontal disease is made. Most often, teeth that are loose (mobile) enough to require splinting have that diagnosis. However, if the tooth roots are abnormally short or thin, or if the bone around them is not particularly dense, the teeth may be loose when less than 40% of the volume has been lost.

The remaining teeth may not be able to withstand chewing forces, which leads to many different dental problems.

The teeth that remain may be incapable of withstanding the increased chewing forces placed upon them. This can lead to what is called “pathologic migration,” the tipping and displacement of the remaining teeth (shown in this image), bite collapse (loss of vertical dimension of occlusion), changes in the facial contours, and even jaw joint problems.


Periodontal stabilization splints can significantly reduce the forces on remaining teeth.

The placement of periodontal stabilization splints can significantly reduce the forces placed on the remaining periodontal attachment, and prolong the service life of the natural teeth.

Your dentist can tell you if your teeth are loose enough to require periodontal stabilization splints. Another factor that comes into play is the status of the periodontal disease. If you have active disease, and the bone around the teeth is softened from inflammation, simply bringing the disease under control through other types of periodontal disease management can make the teeth less mobile.

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Author: Thomas J. Greany, D.D.S. / Editor: Ken Lambrecht

This page was last updated on February 18, 2018.

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