By definition: The need for occlusal equilibration is usually diagnosed as part of therapy for TMJ Disorder patients. In occlusal equilibration the chewing surfaces of the teeth are reshaped. This reshaping procedure has been found to be the solution for many conditions which can cause discomfort in the head, neck and shoulders. Also, it can help stop excessive wear of the dental structures. Occlusal or Bite restoration involves the replacement of missing teeth in addition to reshaping procedures. This eliminates high spots on the teeth. By eliminating the high spots, it allows the muscles of the jaw and face to relax. The person who suffers from chronic headaches, facial pain, neck and shoulder pain that comes from malocclusion ( improper bite) can get the most benefit following occlusal treatment.
Will Removing Enamel Promote Tooth Decay?
Decay starts in areas that are difficult to clean. This means, in the deep pits and bottom of the grooves in the teeth, as well as between the teeth. In occlusal treatment, tooth structure will be removed on the inclines of the cusps ( the mountain peaks). This does not in any way encourage tooth decay. In fact, the tooth structure that the Dentist removes is the part that should not be there or is in the way.
How Long Will Treatment Take?
It is not known in advance how much time will be required to render adequate treatment. Usually, in our office, we do an hour and a half for the first appointment. Then we follow that with another half hour a few weeks later to make any fine tuning adjustments as needed. If we need to follow up with another appointment, we will do that too.
Do I Need to be Numb?
No, in almost all cases. The amount of tooth structure being removed is so small that there really is no sensitivity. We want you to be able to feel how you are biting down too. Our Doctors will use a bite tape to mark the high spots on the teeth – this leaves little marks on the tooth where you are hitting harder.
What Can I Expect After Treatment?
The chewing surfaces might feel different – as they have been adjusted. Not all the teeth will feel different. Tongues are amazing things and they can sense a micron of change. Your tongue will be feeling around your mouth checking out its new environment! The real advantages of this Occlusal Equilibration do not occur until 7 – 10 days after the treatment.
Will I Be Able To Tell The Difference In My Bite?
Patients who have received occlusal treatment often make the following remarks:
- My teeth feel like they fit together better
- I feel like they hit more evenly
- My bite feels more solid
- I can chew better
- My muscles are more relaxed
- I don’t have headaches any more
- My shoulders, neck and face aren’t sore any more
Will Occlusal Treatment Relieve My Headaches?
Chronic headache is man’s most common complaint. And even today, all the causes of headaches is not fully understood. However, we do know that many headaches are directly related to an improper bite. Many patients suffer from headaches triggered by more than one cause. But, if a person’s headaches are being caused by misaligned teeth, they can expect some relief. If there are other factors contributing to the headaches, the patient will feel varying degrees of improvement.
Other Services That Go With Occlusal Treatment
Night Guards or Bruxism Guards can go hand in hand with Equilibration. With Occlusal Equilibration, your teeth will hit even during the day. If you are still grinding your teeth at night, we can make you a Night Guard.