If you've ever called your dentist because of a broken tooth, you’re in good company. It is one of the most common problems we, as dentists, encounter. It’s one thing for a dentist to know how to create beautiful fillings and natural smiles; it’s quite to another to insure that they will endure over time. Teeth that are sensitive to cold, sore or tired jaws, excessively worn teeth, broken crowns or veneers, teeth that have shifted position, gum recession and even tension headaches are more often signs of disharmony between your teeth and your TMJs (temporomandibular or “jaw” joints).” The occlusion (i.e. the bite) is the foundation for everything a dentist does that involves teeth. It’s surprising then, that it still one of the most common dental problem affecting so many people!
So what is the solution? You may have heard of something called “occlusal equilibration.” Simply put, it is a procedure that equalizes the bite pressure of your mouth by adjusting the way the teeth fit together. It is a fairly simple procedure and one that most can benefit from. Creating even pressure promotes even wear of the teeth, protecting both teeth and dental work from breakage and damage. The feeling of having to “get used to” your fillings or crowns or your new smile is not normal. It’s very often a sign of disharmony between the TMJs and your teeth. I can’t stress this enough. It is a warning that something is not right with your bite. And, your jaw joints, teeth and jaw muscles will bear the brunt of this disharmony. Is everyone a candidate for equilibration? No. People who have had longstanding TMJ problems, facial pain or muscle soreness need to resolve those concerns first. And in some cases, orthodontics may be a necessary first step in which case, equilibration should follow
Finally, to be confident that your dental treatment is comfortable and long lasting, it’s important to seek out a dentist who performs occusal evaluations as part of his or her practice. This involves looking at how the parts of the mouth - the jaw joints, teeth and jaw muscles - work together. In one word, “harmony” between these three is a significant key to the comfort and longevity of your teeth. Recognition of any disharmony between these components begins with a "PRE CLINICAL INTERVIEW" in Dr. Friedman's care. Once a disharmony is identified, the preventive treatment offered will likely be either an Orthopaedic Bite Guard and / or Occlusal Equilibration.