Although adequate relief of excess mechanical loading to the joint has been accepted as one of the important treatment concepts in the orthopaedic field, a treatment method for the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) to relieve excess mechanical loading has not yet been established. This study aimed to clarify the effect of an occlusal splint on the maintenance of the distracted condylar position achieved by vibrating-traction method. Vibrating dynamic traction force was applied for 5 min to the right TMJ using vibrating-traction apparatus. A flat stabilization splint was adjusted to keep the mandibular position and the condylar displacement was evaluated for 6 h after the dynamic traction procedure. Mean vertical displacement of the mandibular right first molar immediately after the vibrating-traction for the six subjects was 156 μm (ranging from 141 to 179 μm). The calculated mean condylar displacement immediately after the traction was 480 μm and could be kept to be 381 μm even after 6 h by wearing the flat stabilization splint. From the results of this study, it was revealed that the mechanically tracted condylar position could be maintained by a flat occlusal splint. It was suggested that the vibrating-traction method followed by the provision of occlusal support might have a possibility to work as a mechanical relieving procedure for the TMJ.
- Condylar position
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