As a patient, you should know that "bite adjustments" are sometimes controversial in dentistry.
Dentists frequently make simple alterations in your bite--with a new filling or crown, or a fixed bridge or removable partial--and your mouth's adaptability to the change takes care of things. However, if you have symptoms--jaw joint pain, head and neck muscle strain or pain, or even tooth pain--then it is necessary that a Prosthodontist diagnose of the cause of the symptoms before any alterations are made.
Diagnosis involves the appropriate film studies, of the teeth and joints, and examination of your occlusion (how the teeth come together) by means of models study mounted on a device (articulator) that reproduces your jaw movements. It also involves an in-depth discussion regarding parafunctional activities, such as bruxism (teeth grinding) or clenching.
Removable custom bite appliances are used both as a diagnostic and treatment tool, to determine whether changes in your bite could be beneficial before making permanent alterations to your teeth.
The goal of any bite alterations is to relieve or eliminate symptoms and minimize stress to the joints, muscles and teeth.
Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc.,
Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics
(661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com
5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309