This morning at the Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix I stood inline at Starbuck’s with the owner of Aqualizer as we both headed to Chicago for the Chicago Midwinter Dental Meeting. As you read this post you are either already utilizing Aqualizer’s in your office or you are wondering what I am talking about.
The Aqualizer is a temporary occlusal appliance. It is two water filled cushions connected by a bridge of plastic that allow the device to be placed over the posterior teeth and stay in place. The device provides posterior support that can relieve acute pain from a lateral pterygoid spasm, disc displacement, as well as a traumatic injury to the retrodiscal tissues. I also use them for patient’s who get uncomfortable on an anterior only appliance to see if posterior support will help prior to fabricating a different appliance for them.
The device comes in a few sizes and we keep a variety in the refrigerator in the office. They can be worn on either the upper or lower arch, depending on the preference of the patient. Every once in a while you will have a patient that clenches hard enough to pop the water cushions. When this happens we simply get them another Aqualizer. If you need to trim the plastic for a patient that has a shallow vestibule, I suggest using a scissor as cutting it with a bur will be frustrating.