Limited evidence that hard stabilisation appliances provide improvement in pain related to temporomandibular disorders


This critical summary of a systematic review published in 2010 was prepared under the auspices of the American Dental Association Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry.

The original review was addressing the question of whether intraoral orthopaedic appliances reduce pain in patients with temporomandibular disorders affecting muscle and joint (TMJD) compared to subjects receiving placebo control, no treatment, or other treatments.

The summariser noted that the review was conducted relatively thoroughly, although restricted to English language studies.  The included studies were of short duration and used a variety of non standard pain measures.  Heterogeneity meant that the majority of studies were synthesised qualitatively.

The  summariser found that the review provided limited evidence that the use properly adjusted hard stabilization appliances provide modest  improvement in pain related to temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). There was weak evidence for the use of other appliance types

Go to the ADA critical summary

Go to the PubMed abstract of the original review



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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

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