In dentistry, the way your teeth come together when you bite is called your “occlusion”. If you have a healthy bite, you can expect long-term comfort, stability, and functional esthetics. However, an unstable bite can lead to a host of problems, collectively known as Occlusal
Just as the proper alignment of the wheels on your car are critical for performance and safety, the alignment of your teeth and jaw joints is necessary for you to be able to chew comfortably, and smile with confidence. The seemingly simple action of chewing actually requires exquisitely complex coordination between the teeth, jaws, muscles, and the Temporo-Mandibular Joints (TMJs). Without this precise coordination, the forces generated when you bite and chew can cause a whole host of signs and symptoms of Occlusal Disease including broken and worn teeth, crooked teeth and loose teeth, headaches, jaw pain, sensitivity, recession, clenching and grinding.
Our job is to identify these signs and symptoms of Occlusal Disease, and discover the source of the problems. This enables us to develop the most predictable solution, employing the least amount of dentistry necessary. The ultimate goal of treatment is to have the jaw joints seated fully in their sockets, and all the teeth hitting evenly at the same time when you bite down, while only the front teeth touch when rubbbing your teeth forward or side to side.
When recommending treatment, Dr. Forgosh uses a simple rule taught to him by one of his mentors, Dr. Peter Dawson. It’s called the WIDIOM rule: Would I Do It On Me?
Four Steps for Proper Diagnosis of Bite Problems:
- History: A detailed history of your symptoms and concerns is recorded.
- Comprehensive Exam: A thorough physical examination of your teeth, muscles and jaw joints is conducted. This includes dental x-rays, periodontal evaluation, and an oral cancer screening.
- Diagnostic Photographs: These images help us communicate with you and our dental ceramist, so you can see what we see, and we can be sure to be on the same page. We also use these photos to make informed decisions when developing our treatment plan.
- 3D Analysis of your bite: We use accurate models of your teeth, mounted on an special instrument that allows us to see how your teeth come together when you bite, to assess the current condition of your occlusion, and to develop an appropriate plan for treatment.
Based on our findings, together with your input regarding any esthetic changes you may want to incorporate, we are able to develop the most predictable and conservative treatment to meet your goals.