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How do we treat Bad Bite? (Occlusal Dysfunction)

Functional Occlusal Therapy is to reconstruct your bite to function with decreased risks for deterioration of joint, teeth, and supporting structures.

Persons with following problems such as:

  1. Worn, chipped, or cracked front or back teeth
  2. Have many crowns that chipped or broken or recemented few times
  3. Difficulty with chewing, or chewing on only back or front teeth
  4. Do not know how your teeth should fit together
  5. Sore jaw, tight jaw muscles
  6. Need to have many crowns/veneers made

It is composed of three components.

  1. Jaw Joint Position This is our reference point to build our new bite. Patient with dysfunction cannot reliably bite down on the same spot every time.
  2. Home Position: Have both side of back teeth touch at the same time with equal intensity when you close down. This is most important component
  3. Guide in the front teeth: to relieve friction on the back teeth and avoid chewing interferences

Bite is treated in the following sequence.

  1. You will wear an appliance to find your jaw joint position for about one month.
  2. When this position is located, we will need to balance the bite, by lowering the high spot and adding to the low spot, so left and right side of the back teeth can touch at the same time with same intensity.
    This may require
    • Occlusal adjustment to lower the high spot
    • Add to the low spot,
      • ⇒Composite
      • ⇒Temporary crowns
  3. If possible, a Guide will the made in the front tooth area. This may require:
    • Occlusal adjustment
    • Occlusal Adjustment and Composite
    • Temporary Crown

No final restorations are made until patient feels the new bite acceptable. 
In order to try out the new bite, we will need to build the new bite with treatment provisionals. The time to complete the treatment will vary. 
It must be emphasized that longer the dysfunction, the more difficult to modify the old habits and old feedback that is already engrammed into the brain. Even the best possible reconstruction may not be totally comfortable, as the occlusion also depend on the ability of the patient to adapt to the new bite and turn off the abnormal jaw movement.

The bite treatment cannot be guaranteed as it depend also on the existing physical compromises patient has (joint, tooth position, tooth integrity, jaw bone, engram). To be realistic, some compromises may be required.