If you’re hesitant to start testing out digital bite splints in your practice, read on to learn why one dentist prefers them for improved efficiency and accuracy.
In Part 1 of my thoughts on this topic, I explained the features I love when working with a lab to create digital bite splints. These bite splints have an incredible fit and allow for customizable retention. Below, I round out the rest of my perspective on why they’re a great option for many dentists.
Occlusal Schemes and Adjusting the Digital Bite Splint Design
I’ve played with different occlusal schemes for digital bite splints. I have utilized:
1. A universal flat plane appliance (upper or lower).
2. An anatomic retainer-type appliance we designed to have a little more detail.
3. One anterior repositioning appliance. It was created for a patient who had some recent trauma. We were trying to keep them from seating all the way for a short period of time.
The idea is that you can design the occlusal scheme any way you want. After we send the scan in and the lab does the initial design, they can send us back screenshots that show us what the design is.
When we look at those screenshots, we can make comments on them. If there’s a lot of change – if we want to shallow the guidance, steepen the guidance, or make it thicker/thinner – we can actually go online live with the lab as they enact the changes. We can watch it happen in real time.
Increasing Efficiency by Reducing Chair, Lab, and Adjustments Time
Digital bite splints are a nice, new way to do things. Personally, I think we’re getting a better result. It’s certainly saving us a ton of time, both in terms of lab time (model work time) and chair time because the patient doesn’t need a lot of reline time. Of course, keeping the nasty acrylic out of the mouth is another significant benefit.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time adjusting. The occlusal adjustments are nominal. If we get the records right with the scan, there is very little in terms of adjustments. In fact, that might be the downfall for some of us because we lose a portion of time for the patient to experience things. Sometimes, I’ll spend more time adjusting than I need to. I ensure the patient is engaged and experiencing what an even bite might feel like relative to their natural occlusion. But, in this case, I wouldn’t have to devote that time if I didn’t need to.
Digital bite splints are also really dense. Breakage is going to be a minor problem. They’re going to hold up and last a long time.
What technology are you considering using in your practice? Please leave your thoughts in the comments!