The art of occlusion (the opening and closing of the mouth), is a rather dynamic aspect of good dentistry. The diagnosis of occlusal discrepancies and its treatment can lead to the proper engagement of tooth surfaces. This aids in reducing trauma to the tooth surface as well as the periodontal and bone structure that support the teeth. There is an aspect of dental malady that gets attention, and that has to do with the temporomandibular joint and the muscular support structure. Unless trauma occurred from an accident, occlusion plays a critical role in the causation of TMD.
For Dr. Richard Durando, the mechanics of biting (occlusion) should receive a balanced portion of the focus of dental diagnosis. It’s estimated that less than 20% of dental practitioners have been trained to identify and treat these problems for their patients. Dr. Durando first learned of this philosophy from a professor while in dental school, and it’s informed how Menlo Park Dental Care approaches patient care.
For nearly 40 years, our dedicated team has helped patients achieve an awareness that the bite and all the subsets that describe the word occlusion are critical to good dental health. To learn more about occlusal analysis, call our office today to schedule an appointment.
What is Occlusal Analysis?
Conducting an occlusal analysis involves studying the relationship of teeth’s landing surfaces and their functional harmonies. There are two aspects of the loading of teeth; the vertical closure and the horizontal or immediate side shift of teeth. The goal of treatment is for contact to be synchronous so all landing areas hit evenly and simultaneously. As part of a detailed analysis, we are able to come up with a diagnosis and multiple treatments to achieve an ideal bite for patients.
Your Treatment Options
After diagnosing the specific issues, Dr. Durando takes the time to educate you on each treatment option or corrective device that may benefit your outcome. We take an ethical and personalized approach when recommending treatment, ensuring the option you choose is the best-case scenario for a healthy and fully-functioning smile.
Most of the time, it is judicious to present a patient with the opportunity to wear an oral orthotic (splint). The benefit of making an orthotic is to identify the hinge access of the temporomandibular joint and the neutral functioning of the musculature. When patient comfort has been achieved and the confirmation of the diagnosis is confirmed by wearing the appliance, one can transition to other modalities.
There are only two choices to pursue in dealing with the discrepancy of premature tooth contact and/or the obliteration of the healthy anatomical structure of the top of the tooth. One choice is to eliminate the premature contact through occlusal adjustment, which involves reshaping a localized area of tooth structure to achieve a synchronous bite with all 28 members of the dental family (teeth).
The second choice is an augmentation of the tops of teeth to restore the healthy anatomical relationship of one tooth surface striking another.
Schedule an Appointment in Menlo Park Today
Dr. Durando and our caring team at Menlo Park Dental Care enjoy the challenge of transforming patients’ smiles. We develop a co-generated treatment plan that details the likely outcome of each recommended procedure so patients can make the right decision for them. If you are looking for a dentist with the expertise to perform a thorough occlusal analysis, contact us today!