Traditional methods of splint manufacture are highly technique sensitive and often lead to poor splint fit, over contour and hence poor patient compliance. They also, more often than not, require extensive chair side time for adjustments to achieve passive fit and an appropriate occlusal scheme.
The main benefits of CAD/CAM milling technologies are the elimination of individual human errors inherent in the casting and other technical processes resulting in time saving and higher level of predictability at both the technical and clinical level. This allows the milled occlusal splint to be more durable, lighter, thinner and less bulky, hence improving patient’s comfort and compliance.
Clinically, maxillary and mandibular impressions are taken and poured. An open centric bite is taken with no tooth contact and utilizing a vertical dimension stop. Use a custom vertical dimension jig to control the vertical relationship.
These models are digitized using a 3D scanner and virtually articulated in centric relation and the computer software also then calculates the centre of rotation of the condyle based on average values. The maxillary model is digitally surveyed and the outline of the occlusal splint is constructed. Splint dimensions are automatically analysed to ensure a minimum occlusal thickness.
This minimizes the risks of perforations of the splints (especially in the distal molar areas) or over-bulking of the splint which has significant dimensional issues anteriorly. Once the design of the splint has been digitally finessed, it is milled from a block.