Splinting refers to "the joining of two or more teeth into a rigid unit."
Objective of splinting: to create an environment where tooth movement can be limited within physiologic limits to restore function and patient comfort. However, the mere presence of tooth mobility does not justify the need to splint teeth. Splinting is best viewed as a preventive treatment measure for teeth that have minimal or no bone loss, yet are clinically mobile. Therefore before treatment is started, the cause of any mobility must be identified. Extraction is an appropriate treatment for extremely mobile teeth.
Depending on the intended goal of therapy, Splints may be classified as provisional and definitive.
Provisional or Temporary splints may be worn for less than 6 months and may not be followed by additional splint therapy. They provide an insight into whether or not stabilization of the teeth provides any benefit before any irreversible definitive treatment is even initiated.
These splints typically are fabricated using thin stainless steel wires, and tooth colored composite resin restorative materials. The splint can also be reinforced in several ways using one of the following materials: ligature wire, glass fiber, or a polyethylene fiber reinforced polymer( Ribbond Fiber).
When anterior teeth require splinting, tooth colored restorative resin reinforced with polyethylene fiber is the material of choice.
Definitive or Permanent splints maintain long term stability of the dentition. Definitive splints are placed only after stability has been achieved in order to increase functional stability, and improve esthetics on a long-term basis. Such treatment includes conventional fixed prostheses (Dental Bridges) because they provide definitive rigidity and are better able to control and direct occlusal forces than removable splints.