Gap arthroplasty with active mouth opening exercises using an interocclusal splint in temporomandibular joint ankylosis patients

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Issue Date
Springer Open
Maxillofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 41(1):18
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) ankylosisGap arthroplastyInterpositional graftInterocclusal splint (IOS)Maximum mouth opening (MMO)
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) ankylosis during early childhood may lead to disturbances in growth and facial asymmetry and to serious difficulties in eating as well as in breathing during sleep. The purpose of this study is to describe the effectiveness of an interocclusal splint (IOS) for active mouth opening exercises in the treatment of TMJ ankylosis.

A total of nine patients with 13 instances of TMJ ankylosis from 2008 to 2010 were included in this study, of which five patients were male and four patients were female. Five patients demonstrated unilateral ankylosis, while five patients showed bilateral symptoms. Ankylosed mass resection with coronoidectomy, fibrotic scar release, and resection of stylohyoid ligament calcification was performed with gap arthroplasty without an interpositional graft, and all patients were assessed for maximum mouth opening (MMO) during a mean 6.6-year follow-up period.

All patients were subjected to postoperative mouth opening exercises from the day of the operation with the help of an IOS, which was based on an impression taken during surgery. All patients were sufficiently comfortable moving their mandible according to the IOSs guiding plane and impingement, and satisfactory results were achieved, in which MMO was improved by 35 mm more than 6 years after surgery.

Complete and adequate resection of the ankylosed mass and postoperative active mouth opening exercises are essential in the treatment of TMJ ankylosis. Moreover, a more comfortable mouth opening guide and interdigitation can be achieved using an IOS, and newly organized fibrosis in the gap space between the newly made resected condylar head and temporal fossa can be suggested.
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College of Dentistry/School of Dentistry (치과대학/치의학대학원)Dental Research Institute (치학연구소)Journal Papers (저널논문_치학연구소)
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