For Dentists

Why Learn about 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