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Although current guidelines for the treatment of traumatic injuries recommend the use of 'flexible' splints, the precise definition of what is considered flexible versus rigid has not been rigorously defined, leaving the clinician with a wide range of options for this critical factor. The purpose of this study was to quantify and compare the effect of eight different splints on tooth mobility after extraction and replantation using a human cadaveric model. Following strict selection criteria including complete root maturation, lack of periodontal disease, normal bone levels, and crown integrity, a maxillary central incisor was atraumatically extracted and splinted with eight different splints. The experimental splints included a 20-pound test (9.072-kilogram test) [corrected] monofilament nylon-composite splint and six wire-composite splints made of wires of 0.012' (0.3 mm), 0.016' (0.4 mm), or 0.020' (0.5 mm) diameter stainless steel (SS) or nickel titanium (NT). A direct composite splint represented the most rigid type of splint. These eight splints were applied five times each, and tooth mobility was measured before and after each splint was applied. The average splint effect, defined as the difference between the presplint and the postsplint measurements quantified using the Periotest, was calculated for each splint and compared. No significant differences were found between the nylon-composite and the wire-composite splints. There was significantly less tooth mobility with the direct composite splint compared to all other splints. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that nylon and SS or NT wires up to 0.016' diameter are significantly more flexible than direct composite splints and thus may be better suited for the splinting and management of traumatized teeth. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Steven C Kwan, James D Johnson, Nestor Cohenca. The effect of splint material and thickness on tooth mobility after extraction and replantation using a human cadaveric model. Dental traumatology : official publication of International Association for Dental Traumatology. 2012 Aug;28(4):277-81

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PMID: 22107132

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