Alaska Patent of the Month – August 2021

If you grind your teeth in your sleep, you might suffer from bruxism. It can lead to damaged teeth, TMJ amage, and myo-facial pain. Inadequate treatments only further these effects. Some night guards cover the teeth, protecting them from wear and tear of grinding. Others try to correct the centric relation or occlusion discrepancy, allowing the TMJ to relax and stopping the grinding at the source. Still others guide the jaw, preventing posterior interferences and reducing the muscle forces associated with bruxism.

Dr. Kelly Lucas has developed an Anterior Guidance Package (AGP) splint which can be used for patients with bruxism, but also works for those with temporomandibular disorder (TMD) or sleep apnea. The splint is constructed specifically towards an individual patient, 3-D printed based on images of the jaw. It’s designed with a maxillary and mandibular guidance component, each attached to their retentive pieces to provide superior anterior guidance. The anterior guidance helps to limit destructive engrams, decrease muscle activity, and better protect the teeth and TMJ. As long as the patient does not have a severe malocclusion, they can use this AGP splint to help with their bruxism without requiring constant dentist visits.

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