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 the Director of the Centre for Evidence-based Dentistry, Editor of the Evidence-based Dentistry Journal, Consultant in Dental Public Health with Forth Valley Health Board and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Dundee & Glasgow Dental Schools. He helped to establish both the Centre for Evidence-based Dentistry and the Evidence-based Dentistry Journal. He has been involved with teaching EBD and a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994.

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