Occlusal Analysis & Adjustment Columbus OH
"Because we believe that great dentistry and great health affects your every smile, every conversation, every meal, and every kiss profoundly"
What is Occlusal Analysis and Bite Adjustment?
Occlusion is the way your teeth in the upper and lower jaw fit together – your bite. An occlusal analysis is an examination of a patient’s bite; in particular, the areas where opposing teeth contact each other. An occlusal adjustment can be one or more procedures designed to realign the bite so all teeth meet correctly, relieving excess pressure on individual teeth and lessening strain on the jaw joints and bone.
Who Needs an Occlusal Analysis and Adjustment?
When a patient closes his or her mouth, the top teeth and bottom teeth should come together with the entirety of each arch making contact at the same time. If certain teeth meet before the rest, this is called malocclusion. A malocclusion is considered an “imperfect” bite that can cause the serious issues over time if left uncorrected, due to the extra pressure on the teeth that meet first.
Many patients are unaware that one or more of their dental issues are a result of malocclusion. Some of these disorders or symptoms include:
- Bone or gum recession
- Nerve or muscle damage
- Missing teeth
- Chipped, cracked or damaged teeth
- Tooth or jaw bone pain
- Tooth sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures
- TMJ temporomandibular joint issues
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Damage to dental restorations
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Occlusal Analysis Process
During an occlusal analysis, a periodontist will check for the following symptoms which might require a periodontic treatment:
- Disharmony: failure of opposing tooth surfaces to align properly
- Interference: contact inhibiting or altering the desirable contact between teeth
- Prematurity: contact of opposing teeth occurring before the jaw is fully shut
- Trauma: in some cases, the contact of opposing teeth can be off axis enough to cause tissue damage
These issues can cause serious side-effects that can lead to extreme discomfort including
- Major headaches or migraines due to bit pressure issues
- Muscle of joint spasms in your face, jaw or neck
- Aesthetic issues that affect your smile and drain your self-confidence
If an occlusal analysis reveals issues with your bite, the periodontist may recommend and occlusal adjustment. There are many different methods for achieving proper occlusion, and your dentist will select the ones best suited for your specific issue(s).
Occlusal Adjustment Procedure
In most cases, a bite can be readjusted simply by carefully removing excess tooth structure to allow teeth to meet evenly instead of one tooth hitting its opposite before the rest of the arch. This procedure is relatively simple and does not require anesthesia – the dentist will only be removing microscopic layers from the teeth, staying far away from any nerve endings, and will constantly check to see if your teeth come together correctly after being reshaped.
Another way to adjust the bite is to repair broken, cracked or chipped teeth. Sometimes old fillings may need to be replaced if they are affecting the harmony of your bite. Dental crowns may be used to add depth to a tooth, and dental fillings can be employed to reshape chipped teeth.
Some periodontists will recommend orthodontic measures to be taken to realign or reposition your teeth so they meet properly. If small movements are needed, the treatment may not require years for braces or Invisalign, but may be accomplished in a matter of months with the latest in tooth alignment techniques. Talk to your periodontist about if orthodontic measures should be taken to realign your teeth for a better bite.
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Bite Guards and Other Occlusal Treatments
In addition to in-office occlusal adjustment, your dentist may recommend use of a bite guard, mouth guard or similar device. These devices can help prevent teeth grinding (bruxism) and other damaging oral habits, and can stop patients from clenching their jaw and increasing tension in the joint. Bite guards are also used to protect the teeth during high-impact activities.
A bite guard is specifically made to fit each patient’s smile to ensure a perfectly tailored treatment. This treatment option is recommended for patients of all ages. Our professionally made dental bite guards are created at our dental lab from the impressions taken in our office. We can take digital 3D images or traditional wax impressions to ensure the guards are created exactly to fit your bite, customize them in the lab and then fit them perfectly for maximum comfort.
Bite guards are highly recommended for patients suffering from TMJ issues. A bite guard can help patients keep from grinding their teeth at night, which can help prevent headaches in the morning. In some extreme cases, the periodontist may recommend the patient to wear the bite guard during the daytime when not eating or drinking, to help train the jaw to stay in a relaxed position.
It is important for you to communicate with your dental professional if your bite guard wears or becomes loose fitting over time. This is normal as any slight shift in your bite can cause this issue. We will re-create the bite guards as needed to keep your mouth and jaw correctly positioned.
After Occlusal Analysis / Adjustment
It is entirely normal to have some shifting in your smile over time. Changing in your gum tissue, underlying bone, and even tooth damage or tooth loss can lead to changes in bite, as can remedial treatments such as crowns, bridgework, dentures, or dental implants. Regular monitoring of your bite can help head off issues before they become serious and keep your bite level and comfortable.
We recognize that every patient and their smile issues are unique and require tailored treatments. Our goal is to provide periodontal care that builds a picture of your mouth and regularly updates it as we strive for optimal aesthetics and functionality.
Ask for More Information
If you are interested in more information about occlusal analysis and adjustment at Stoner Periodontic Specialists, give us a call. One of our team members will answer your questions and can schedule you for an evaluation. We recommend customized bite guards for occlusal remediation or TMJ, and can help you achieve optimal comfort and aesthetics with an adjusted bite. Call us for an occlusal consultation today! (641) 889-8222