Freely available or over-the-counter occlusal splints obtainable in commercial outlets: a reality dentists should know.
Aim and objective: Bruxism is defined by The American Sleep Disorders association as “tooth grinding during sleep plus tooth wear, sounds or jaw muscle discomfort in absence of medical disorder. People are obtaining over the counter splints (OTC) as a possible alternative to manage bruxism without the need for dental assessment. The aim of this study is survey OTC bruxism splints available in Chile through the internet or other commercial outlets, categorize their characteristics, claims, safety warnings and contrast it with scientific evidence. Materials and Methods: An internet search was made for OTC bruxism splints available in Chile. Only Chilean domains were evaluated. Information recorded was manufacture, name of the device, splint design, material, adjustability, price, claims and safety warnings. Results: five devices were found in our search. Only one is from a Chilean laboratory, being the most accessible. All devices have a full coverage splint design. the material made of is only described in one and their prices in the market are very dissimilar. The most usual advertising was “Eliminate Bruxism. Stop Night-Time Grinding & Clenching”. Two manufactures suggest that the device will help to sleep better. No manufacture provided a guide for how long each day the splint must be worn. Conclusion: Dentists should be aware to keep this market in mind when reviewing patients if there have been unexplained occlusal changes or other problems. Bruxism is often a long-term problem and with any type of bruxism appliance the importance of regular review by a professional is critical.