Why learn about Dental Occlusion ?

Occlusion – it’s a tricky, confusing subject, isn’t it?

Most of us weren’t taught about occlusion (or at least, not well-taught) when we were at Dental School.

Just how should the teeth meet and move over each other? – And, more importantly, does it matter?


Here are some of the things to think about when treating cases:


  • Does the patient have an ideal occlusion? What does that mean?
  • Does the patient have a stable occlusion? Does it matter
  • Are the teeth worn? Why are they worn? Is the patient bruxing?
  • Has your patient broken their existing restorations? Do you know why? Will they break yours?
  • Are the joints stable – are there clicks, pops, crepitus or other noises and what does it mean for stability and treatment?
  • Is there enough space for my restorations and, if not, can I make more space? Can I change the vertical dimension?
  • If I crown the last tooth in the arch, will I lose space when I come to fit the crown?
  • Do I need a Facebow and bite records? Which ones?
  • Should my technician use an articulator? Which type?
  • Should I be using Centric Relation or Habit Bite: when is each appropriate?
  • Implant Cases: what is the ideal occlusal scheme and how do we achieve it? If I don’t load the implant(s), am I going to overload the other teeth?
  • Are there working and/or non-working interferences? Will that cause problems?
  • Have the teeth moved because of orthodontic instability or because of adverse occlusal forces?
  • Should the patient wear a ‘nightguard’ after treatment? If so, what type should I use?
  • Periodontal Cases – Is the occlusion and/or bruxing a secondary a factor in the bone loss?


The British Society for Occlusal Studies offers theory and practical courses to help you understand this difficult subject.

Visit our website www.bsos.org.uk or Facebook Page for details

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