Ellis General Dentistry

Dennis W. Ellis, DDS, PA

Occlusal Analysis

There is often need to evaluate the occlusion (bite) of a patient when there are symptoms consistent with a bite that is unstable. Symptoms such as: temporomandibular joint pain and clicking, loose teeth, excessive wear on teeth, movement of teeth, and supporting structures that are unstable.  We know there are many occlusions (bites) that are not perfect and can be maintained in good health and stability and can be completely comfortable, so before any definitive treatment is initiated, it is important to determine if an occlusion is stable or unstable regardless of what it looks like. 

The process of analyzing the occlusion for stability, starts with the TMJ seated in it’s proper position, once this is accomplished, then the process of determining if the occlusion is not in balance is next.. Sometimes casts are made of the patient’s teeth and studied for problems, sometimes we use a computerized diagnostic device, the T-Scan II to records a patient’s bite force, enabling a dentist to determine a patient’s bite dynamics, this includes occlusal force, timing and location. The T-Scan is built with patented sensor technology, that puts articulating marks in the mouth into context by showing the dentist where and how occlusal forces occur in a patient’s bite.

We use the T-Scan to protect our patient’s teeth from harmful forces, ensuring proper implant loading and preventing remakes and fractures, minimizing emergency visits, and saving valuable patient time. The data recorded by the T-Scan puts the dentist in control of the treatment sequence by providing the percentage of force distribution for a patient’s bite. There is no need to rely on “How does that feel?” to qualify treatment.

Once the malocclusion has been mapped out, a plan for long term stabilization may then include adjusting the bite through reshaping the teeth, called “occlusal adjustment”, repositioning the teeth through orthodontics or the rebuilding the teeth through restorations like crowns or onlays.