Bite Adjustments and Our Technology
We determine if a patient’s bite is uneven by utilizing a thin marking film called articulation paper. Like a typewriter ribbon, articulation paper marks the cusps and grooves of the teeth imprints. When the bite is uneven, or if a tooth is hitting particularly hard against its antagonist, then the mark is heavier than the others. In this way, we can selectively reduce the cusps of the tooth with dental drills.
Because there are no nerves in the enamel, this is a painless procedure. Anesthesia is not required for this procedure, allowing for our patients to rest easy in our dental office.
When Is a Bite or Occlusal Adjustment Required?
Many patients suffering from TMJ have a problem with their bite and the way their teeth bite together. Many times, patients will present with a bite that is far from ideal, yet it is working for them and they are not in any discomfort. These cases do not require a bite adjustment.
However if there are symptoms of pain or clicking of the jaw when opening or closing or the jaw deviates to one side or another when opening or closing, then, an occlusal adjustment might be indicated.
Additionally, we can make a night guard for a patient. This is a plastic appliance that is custom fitted to the patient. It protects the teeth and the jaw from damaging grinding, clenching or bruxing at night. The forces generated by a sleeping person when they are grinding their teeth can be extremely damaging to the teeth themselves and the jaw joint (TMJ), which is located in front of the ear on each side. Many patients complain of TMJ pain on one or both sides when the joint is in distress.
Some patients may require more advanced treatment if the conservative bite adjustment and/or night guard therapy does not control the problem. Other treatments can include Botox injections in the joint, jaw repositioning appliances, and joint surgery.
Learn More about Dr. Clifford Melnick
To find out if you are a good candidate for a bite adjust or occlusal adjustment, please contact Fifth Avenue Perio today. We will schedule you for a consultation with Dr. Clifford Melnick so that you can learn more about your oral health, and find out more about how a bite adjustment can reduce your levels of pain. Contact us today at 212-355-1266 to find out more about bite and occlusal adjusments.