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Swed Dent J. 2012;36(3):125-32.

Routines for interocclusal appliance therapy among general dental practitioners in a Swedish county.

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Department of Stomatognathic Physiology, The Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education, Jönköping, Sweden.


The aims of this study were to investigate what kind of interocclusal appliances that were chosen among Swedish dentists when treating temporomandibular disorders (TMD), the clinical rationale for the treatment, the diagnoses that warranted the appliance treatment, the use of adjunct TMD treatments and prognostic considerations, and possible differences in these respects between children/adolescents and adults with TMD, and, finally, possible differences between private practitioners and general practitioners in the public dental service. During the 12-months-period April 2009-March 2010 all general dental practitioners in the county of Jönköping, Sweden, were asked to fill in a questionnaire when performing a TMD treatment with an interocclusal appliance. A total of 394 questionnaires were filled in and returned, 216 (55%) from dentists in public dental service and 178 (45%) from private practitioners. It was found that in 40% of the cases, no pre-treatment recording of the functional status in the masticatory system had been made. The commonest reasons for the treatment were bruxism, headache, and replacement of a previous appliance. Less than half of the appliances made were hard acrylic appliances. Some kind of adjunct therapy had been made in 22% of the cases treated in public dental service. The corresponding figure for those treated by private practitioners was 25%. Therapeutic jaw exercises was the commonest adjunct therapy followed by selective occlusal adjustment. In the vast majority of cases, the dentists judged the prognosis of the treatment to be good. It is concluded that a large number of appliances made to treat TMD were soft appliances, especially in public dental service. This reflects a possible overuse of soft appliances at the expense of hard acrylic appliances. Furthermore, in a large number of cases, the treatment was performed without any pre-treatment registrations, and adjunct therapies were rarely used. In all these respects,there is an improvement potential for the treatment of TMD in general dental practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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