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Quintessence Int 46 (2015), No. 1     10. Nov. 2014
Quintessence Int 46 (2015), No. 1  (10.11.2014)

Page 81-86, doi:10.3290/j.qi.a32513, PubMed:25126632


A pilot study on spatial changes in the maxilla caused by osteopathic therapy
Walter, Carl / Lechner, Karl-Heinz / Karl, Matthias
Objectives: A variety of theories on the pathogenesis of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) exists resulting in treatment approaches ranging from the fabrication of occlusal splints to alternative treatment modalities such as osteopathy. The goal of this pilot study was to investigate whether osteopathic treatment causes spatial changes in the maxilla.
Method and Materials: Following ethics commission approval and informed patient consent, three patients diagnosed with TMD participated in this investigation. In addition to regular treatment, an individualized mandibular occlusal splint was fabricated and a maxillary silicone impression was made. Following osteopathic treatment, the splint was adapted intraorally and another maxillary impression was made. Before and after treatment, the splint and the impressions were scanned three-dimensionally. The resulting images were superimposed using best-fit matching algorithms.
Results: Inconsistent spatial changes in the posterior areas were observed both in the maxillary impressions as well as in the mandibular splints reaching maximum absolute values of 0.50 mm.
Conclusion: Based on this pilot study, it appears that osteopathic treatment may be capable of inducing spatial changes in the maxilla due to sutural movement thereby validating the fundamental principles of osteopathic treatment. Although, based on the study conducted, it cannot be concluded that osteopathy constitutes a successful treatment alternative in TMD patients, practitioners should be aware of this treatment modality.

Keywords: dental splint, osteopathy, sutural movement, temporomandibular disorder
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