Occlusal splints, or nightguards are usually made and worn to protect teeth and jaw joints from excessive grinding and/or clenching (bruxism). Night time grinding and clenching are very common habits, and very destructive to both teeth and restorations. Bruxism can also cause a lot of damage to the jaw joints. Quite often bruxism is stress related.
Most people don’t advertise that they wear nightguards, so you probably already know people who wear these splints. Occlusal splints are usually worn at night, as this is when the grinding occurs, but some people’s grinding/clenching occurs when they are driving or on the computer or at work. In these cases, their splint can be worn at these times to protect their teeth.
We will usually also recommend an Occlusal splint after a smile rehabilitation, as it was often grinding that necessitated the rehabilitation! Without a splint, grinding would ruin all the work done if not protected.