Perfectly arranged white teeth with a shape and size meeting the golden standards of dental aesthetics are not the only prerequisite for a perfect smile. In smile design, teeth are treated as a part of the masticatory system which also includes the condition of the two lower jaw joints, the masticatory muscles, the proprioceptors, and the soft tissue around the teeth. That is why it is crucial for us that your new teeth not only look beautiful, but also function well. This means that during masticatory movements your teeth should feel comfortable, with no pressure in the masticatory muscles, no sensitivity and pain in the lower jaws joints, and no overworking of a tooth or a group of teeth. All these preconditions are of extreme importance for achieving a balanced and correctly functional occlusion.
Occlusion is the way the upper and the lower teeth get into contact with each other, i.e. this is your bite. One thing we take into exceptional consideration during every patient’s first examination is precisely her or his occlusion. We analyse the information we receive during the examination of the static and functional occlusion, and we look for those characteristics and symptoms which might indicate any occlusive problem. Every single tooth restoration regardless of its type and material may cause failure of the occlusal balance if the contact points to the teeth of the opposite jaw are incorrect, or if it has incorrect anatomy and height. This leads to impaired comfort of the patient, increased sensitivity in the teeth, or some of the following symptoms:
- Teeth wearing out
- Crack in the tooth or a tooth fracture
- Moving teeth
- Change of the condition of individual teeth – breaking off the tooth restoration (breaking off the filing or the ceramic restoration fragment)
- Gum recession (receding of the gums and root exposure)
- Loss of dental tissue in the cervical area due to an occlusal overload (dental abfractions)
- Painful muscle stiffness in the jaw area
- Headache and pain in the area of the neck and shoulders
- Change in the lower jaw joints – cracking, twinge, pain.
Another reason for an occlusion failure is an incorrect teeth arrangement that including a discrepancy between the teeth of the upper and the lower jaw or a discrepancy between both jaws. When there is a rotation of individual teeth, and this rotation is the result of an orthodontic anomaly, then such a rotation is the reason for the failure of the occlusion. At the same time, problems in the occlusion lead to the overload of a tooth or a group of teeth that later change their position, and rotate in order to avoid an excessive masticatory movement.
Depending on the gravity and the reasons for the occlusal disturbances, treatment might be limited to replacement of the restorations of a tooth or several teeth, or to a complete rehabilitation covering all the teeth. Executing orthodontic treatment on its own or in a combination with a prosthetic treatment is also an option for the rectification of occlusal problems.
It is extremely important for us that every single intervention on the teeth or the bite such as the placement of an obturation, crown or bridge, be carried out according to the occlusal principles because occlusion is important for the patient’s overall health.