Smile Missoula

Andrew C. Althauser, DDS
Ste C, 237 SW Higgins Avenue
Missoula, MT 59803-1485
(406) 721-2830
Monday - Thursday 8am - 5pm
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Occlusal Equilibration (Bite Adjustment)

Occlusal equilibration is a term used in dentistry to discuss the adjustment of how the teeth come together. When the jaw system is functioning properly, the lower jaw is able to freely hinge at the joints and close together with the lower teeth contacting the upper teeth very evenly. This creates a "solid bite." When there is a discrepancy in the bite relationship, usually one or two teeth hitting before the rest of the teeth, problems can develop. These include: joint and muscle pain, headaches, worn teeth, fractured teeth, painful teeth, loose teeth.

When these signs of instability are found we consider occlusal equilibration (bite adjustment) as a possible remedy. We start by studying your bite relationship by way of mounted-diagnostic study models and determine if adjustment of the biting surfaces of the teeth will correct the problem. We do this by selectively reshaping the biting surfaces of individual teeth, which may be interfering with the proper joint/bite relationship. By making these corrective changes, we are able to establish a harmonious and stable system, which eliminates the destructive forces previously present. Establishing this stability in the system can prevent many problems. These include:

  1. Temporaomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD)
  2. Muscle-tension headaches
  3. Severe wear of your natural teeth, as well as loose teeth
  4. Chipping and fracturing of teeth
  5. Gum recession and other associated problems