To investigate the effects of wearing an occlusal splint on masticatory movements in healthy individuals, twelve healthy individuals were examined. A full maxillary stabilization splint made of heat-cured acrylic resin was fabricated for, and worn by, each individual for 24 hours. Masticatory movement was measured before and after the 24-hour period using a 3-D mandibular movement analyzing system. While the duration of a masticatory cycle+ did not change, the occlusal time significantly decreased after use of the splint. The lateral displacement of the opening phase to the balancing-side area also decreased after use of the splint, showing a vertical pattern of the opening path. Measurement in more healthy individuals and patients should help clarify the therapeutic mechanism of the splint in the treatment of temporomandibular disorders.
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