NTI Splint Treats Headaches, Disappoints Dentists

Post your comments about the NTI splint to our blog.

This survey found that two out of three dentists offer the NTI splint. Only 6% report that they do not offer any splint options.

"NTI’s cause open bite issues and damage the TMJs," warned one, while another said, "Great service for fast relief of many issues!"

Virtually all general dentists responding to this survey offer some sort of splint therapy, while only three of four specialists do.

In addition, dental specialists were more likely to offer other oral splints than the NTI.

The NTI is amazing

  • “They work great! I have personally worn one for over 4 years and my migraine headaches are a thing of the past. I will wear this nightly for the rest of my life! Dr. Jim Boyd is my HERO! I have had migraines my whole life and at age 53, I am no longer wondering if I will wake up at 3:00am with a screaming headache.” (Tennessee dentist)

Short-term use only

  • "I think the NTI does more damage than good. It is only for immediate pain relief, not as long term appliance.” (California prosthodontist)
  • “The NTI is a good band-aid / palliative treatment when it comes to neuromuscular therapy.” (Illinois dentist)

NTI can cause unwanted dental problems

  • “NTI caused a patient increased TMJ pain and advanced the mandible into and end to endincisal contact.” (Georgia dentist)
  • “I'm concerned about the potential for hypereruption in the posteriors, so I usually cover at least bicuspids and preferably molars as well as still use the anterior bar and make sure there is no posterior contact in excursions.” (Connecticut dentist)

Other splints are better

  • “I believe that full occlusal coverage is a safer splint.” (California dentist, Board Certified in Orofacial Pain)
  • “There is not data showing the NTI to be better than other types of splints.” (Massachusetts dentist)
  • “I would not recommend and NTI for any condition. I think a full arch splint is necessary.” (California dentist)
  • “In my opinion, a full coverage hard plastic mandibular appliance is best most of the time. I have been using a Tanner appliance for almost 35 years with a high degree of success.” (Missouri dentist)

NTI is useful

  • “NTI-tss is good for deprogramming a patient prior to an equilibration.” (California dentist)
  • “NTI is a great service for fast relief of many issues.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

Open bite

  • “The NTI creates anterior open bites if used for the long term.” (Hawaii dentist)
  • “NTI's cause open bite issues and long-term damage to the TMJ's.” (Texas dentist)

A potentially dangerous treatment?

  • “They can be dangerous for patients with Intracapsular Disorders.” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “Small enough to be aspirated. Too Dangerous. Yeah, I know they've been used a lot, but all it takes is one lawsuit. One lawsuit
    for a Nesbit bridge was enough to stop making them.” (Michigan dentist)

A quick solution?

  • “It is an alternative treatment fraught with problems. Many patients have had tooth movement, bite changes, etc.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “NTI's are a very easy treatment, but there is a definite possibility of shifting of the occlusion and the patient should be made to read and sign the consent prior to placement.” (Texas dentist)

Search for a long-term solution

  • “Fist one must diagnose the condition before recommending treatment. Sometimes we use the NTI, but we also use full arch splints.” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “This is a treatment to relieve symptoms. It is recommended that a complete neuromuscular analysis be done on anything more than mild cases.” (Texas dentist)

Good for certain patients

  • “Only when a traditional splint is not indicated or unable to be worn by the patient.” (Florida dentist)
  • “I offer NTI-plus with canine-to-canine coverage.” (New York dentist)
  • “For people who don't want to spend the 'big bucks' on the bruxism appliance.” (Illinois hygienist)
  • “TMD, bruxing and headache treatment for the excessive gagger.” (Texas dentist)

The NTI can also treat…

  • "Acute TMJ pain episodes” (California dentist)
  • “Dental Compression Syndrome” (Arkansas dentist)
  • “Night time protection” (Louisiana dentist)
  • “Occlusion related recession” (Texas dentist)
  • “Precursor to equilibration” (California dentist)
  • “Diagnostic” (Colorado dentist)

NTI for diagnostic dentistry

  • “To avoid reducing occlusion on a posterior crowned tooth just root canalled. To avoid ruining the crown until sensitivity to biting goes away. Also in conjunction with using a full splint in preparing for equilibration to confirm the condyles are done moving. In other words, I adjust the full splint today, instruct the patient to wear only the NTI. The patient returns in a week or so to see if the occlusion on the full splint has changed. If it has, adjust the splint again, wear the NTI more and follow with another check on the splint to see if the occlusion has changed again. If no change, condyles
    are seated and ready for equilibration. This should be done for all equilibrations, otherwise the joint may not be seated, and one cannot tell with the NTI alone.” (Colorado dentist)

NTI for headache relief

  • “I have both a traditional flat plane splint as well as an NTI. The NTI works best for me for headache and Migraine prevention and/or diminishing the pain. I have found this to be true for many, many of my patients. For those patients in an acute situation with extremely tight muscles of mastication, I also add Klonopin at night for a 2 weeks.” (Minnesota dentist)


Note: Survey sample included 174 respondents.

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