MODIFYING THE CHEWING SURFACES OF TEETH
Often, teeth and jaws do not occlude (come together) in an acceptable position. The result is called malocclusion and has been related to muscle pain and other maladies. Some reasons for malocclusion are fillings or bridges that have been placed piecemeal over a period of years, orthodontics, developmental defects, oral surgery, trauma, natural occurring malocclusion, bruxism, and clenching.
- Occlusal Equilibration:
Occlusal equilibration is the mechanical adjustment of your teeth, dentures, bridges, fillings, or other oral appliances to allow your lower jaw to function in a natural hinge in relation to your upper jaw without improper influence from teeth.
- Is Occlusal Equilibration Harmful?:
When malocclusion is present, teeth are equilibrated because some problem exists: pain, abnormal wear, breaking of restorations (crowns), or other conditions. The problem is usually present because the teeth and/or restorations do not meet in harmony with your lower jaw at the proper position. The teeth and fillings have not “worn in” properly. Occlusal equilibration “wears” some areas mechanically and allows the teeth to meet harmoniously. It is not harmful.
- The Future:
A simple occlusal equilibration can make the teeth and restorations meet harmoniously. However, slight changes in your occlusion (bite) occur over a period of time, because of small movements of teeth in the jaw bones. More complex equilibrations may require several appointments, and the teeth may shift significantly between appointments. When your symptoms are gone, and your occlusion is relatively stable, your occlusal equilibration will be finished. Placement of any new fillings in your mouth will change the way the teeth contact. The dentist accomplishing this future treatment should be advised of your past occlusion problem.
- How Your Teeth Feel:
After occlusal equilibration, your occlusion (bite) will feel different to you. This is to be expected. You will gradually accept this location as your new chewing position.