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Occlusal Adjustment


The occlusal surface, or biting surface, is what you call the parts of the upper and lower teeth that touch each other when you chew. Occlusion refers to the contact between the upper and lower teeth.

In some cases, patients may have a “malocclusion” where the upper and lower teeth don’t meet properly, which may lead to oral problems, particularly temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and dental attrition. When these problems start affecting a person’s quality of life and overall health, occlusal adjustment will be recommended.

What is Occlusal Adjustment?

Occlusal adjustment is the treatment method used to fix the occlusion of upper and lower teeth. It involves trimming down the teeth to prevent them from coming in close contact with each other. The main purpose of occlusal adjustment is to change the force and load distribution among the teeth, jaws, and other muscles involved. This doesn’t just apply to occlusion but also chewing and biting forces.

The procedure usually takes several visits to be completed. A fully detailed occlusal analysis needs to be done prior to the actual procedure. This analysis will show which teeth are putting excessive or uneven force on each other, and which muscles are and have been affected. Using this analysis, the dentist will plan the adjustment process and decide how the teeth will be trimmed and reshaped.

Not all the teeth need to be adjusted, which is why occlusal analysis is necessary. The dentist will only determine which teeth are the most affected and which ones will benefit the most from the treatment.

When Do I Need Occlusal Adjustment?

You are eligible for occlusal adjustment if:

  1. Your jaw alignment causes malocclusion. Sometimes, the structure of the jaw predisposes you to malocclusion. Because jaw alignment is difficult to fix and requires years of orthodontic therapy, some dentists recommend occlusal adjustment instead.
  2. You have big teeth. Some patients naturally have big teeth and these can affect the biting and chewing forces in the mouth.
  3. You need orthodontic treatment. Getting braces may require occlusal adjustment in order to allow the teeth to move freely.
  4. Some of your teeth have prominent signs of occlusal wear. If certain teeth are grinding on each other and their enamel is getting damaged, it’s best to get occlusal adjustment to prevent further problems.
  5. You often complain about jaw pain. Jaw pain is a symptom of TMJ disorders, and malocclusion may be the root cause of the problem.

Long-Term Effects of Malocclusion

If your malocclusion problems are left untreated, you may suffer long-term complications that can lead to poor overall health. The two most common complications of malocclusion are TMJ disorders and dental attrition.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

TMJTMJ disorders affect the jaw joint, which is the moving part of the mouth located just in front of the ears. When the jaw joint gets damaged, regular oral movements like biting, chewing, yawning and talking can become painful and difficult. Other side effects, such as lockjaw (open or closed) and headaches, can also affect the patient’s lifestyle.

Alternative treatments, such as oral appliances, are available for TMJ disorders. They prevent the teeth from coming in contact, but they don’t reduce the force applied on the jaws. If these devices don’t work as planned, occlusal adjustment may be the final choice for treatment.

Dental Attrition

Attrition is the long-term wear of tooth enamel due to tooth-to-tooth contact. As the teeth apply force on each other through grinding, biting, and chewing, the enamel on the occlusal surface of teeth become damaged. Eventually, the occlusal surfaces will become completely worn and the inner tissues of the tooth, such as the dentin and pulp, may become visible. When this happens, teeth will become extremely sensitive and eating will be very difficult.

When attrition is already present, it may require major restorations, such as dental crowns or even extraction, depending on the severity of the damage. These can be prevented if the problem is detected early and occlusal adjustment is performed.

Get proactive! We offer preventative and restorative occlusal solutions.

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Benefits of Getting the Teeth Adjusted

When you undergo occlusal adjustment, you can save your teeth from undue wear and protect your occlusal surfaces. You will also no longer experience the trouble of tooth sensitivity, aesthetic problems, and TMJ disorders. Your oral muscles will become more relaxed and comfortable. Biting and chewing will also be easier, especially if your problem is force-load distribution.

Where to Get Occlusal Adjustment in Sacramento

Ace Dental Roseville is the best dental office to visit if you’re thinking of getting occlusal adjustment. Our dentist, Dr. Karanvir Sibia, DDS, is highly experienced in orthodontic treatments. He also strives to improve his expertise by attending seminars and training sessions related to orthodontics.

To get an occlusal analysis from Ace Dental Roseville, you can visit our office at 1070 Pleasant Grove Suite 110 Roseville, CA 95678, on weekdays from 9 am until 6 pm. You can also contact us using this online form or call us at (916) 772-0111. Our friendly and professional team will assist you in every step of your dental treatment.

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