Occlusal Adjustment Visit | High Dental Crown

Importance of Occlusal Adjustment Visit

Have you been bothered by moderate to severe pain under a recently crowned tooth by the Dentist? Is the pain under the new dental crown or restoration noticeable when biting down on something ordinary like a piece of cake? There might be several points where your bite might not feel right. You might feel the difference where the dental crown is, either as pressure on opposite teeth or as the teeth are not feeling like they come or close together properly. You might also feel that something has changed on the Antagonist or other side of jaw, even though the new crown is the problem.

Finally, you might feel the difference in your jaw joints or muscles. You might notice that your jaw joint feels a little off, stiff, as well as tired or you might notice that you are getting soreness in your jaw muscles. You might be feeling confused and frustrated right now because the new crown/restoration is high and the pain was supposed to go away when you got a crown — right? Plus, you want answers.

Well one of the possible reasons could be that you might have missed your Occlusal Adjustment Visit after a New Crown or Restoration.

What is Occlusal Adjustment Visit?

The pain under a newly crowned tooth when biting down or chewing could be due to the presence of High Points or high occlusal pressure due to undesirable contact between the teeth or slight interferences in the design. Surface imperfections, such as grooves and scratches, can act as stress initiators.

Occlusal adjustment visit to Dentist involves finishing, polishing and selective grinding of tooth surfaces with the goal of improving tooth contact patterns and the associated masticatory muscle response. This is required to minimize the tooth enamel wear and prevents the ceramic fracture or failure. An Excellent clinical performance in dental crowns/restorations depends more on surface finish of the Dental Crown during Occlusal adjustment Visit.

Myth: Adjustment is done for a High Crown or ill designed crowns.

Lateral and Protrusive Movement of Jaw

It is a myth that occlusal adjustment visit is always done and required for ill-fitting or high crowns. Before you jump into this conclusion, take a pause. Your Jaw exhibits varied, dynamic and complex 3D movements, which are never easy to record and reproduce for the Dentist. Likewise the dental laboratory where the crowns are fabricated cannot simulate all the complex jaw movements, which determine the contacts and angulation of newly designed crown cusps. Any undesirable eccentric Contacts (mandibular movements) and interferences in design of a new dental crown/restoration can only be corrected and perfected during in-office occlusal adjustment visit to Dentist. This is done not only minimize the enamel wear, but also prevents the ceramic fracture or failure. As a result, materials can fracture, starting with a crack followed by crack propagation at stress levels that are well below the yield strength.

How is Occlusal or Bite adjustment done?

An Occlusal or bite adjustment procedure is usually a quick and painless in-office procedure. Your dentist will ask you to bite down on a piece of special paper called Articulating Paper. We use two colors of paper for the different types of movements.

Excursive movements and interferences are first marked in one color (e.g. blue) then a different color is inserted (e.g. red) for centric contacts. When you bite down on this paper and move your teeth, it leaves colored marks on your teeth. Any excursive interference is then adjusted accordingly. Improper occlusal relationships can be a major cause of failure, not just to the teeth, but to the entire oral maxillofacial complex.

What if you miss the Occlusal Adjustment Visit?

You may, perhaps,  wonder if  it is worthwhile to have your bite adjusted;  but here are five key reasons Why it is important to visit a dentist for occlusal adjustment visit after a new crown or a restoration, and as early as possible :


  1. An overstressed bite can cause mild to sever soreness and tenderness of the gums.  
  2. An abnormal bite can put you at high risk of eventually stressing  out your jaw until you develop TMD (temporo-mandibular joint disorder) a painful condition that makes it difficult to talk or chew.
  3. A poor bite can wear enamel off the crowns of your teeth and cause overstress, making them sore or even loose. It can also cause teeth to crack. Even mild cases can lead to teeth being over-sensitive to heat, cold and certain foods.
  4. Chronic migraine headaches or pains in the other areas, like your jaw and neck, may result from high crowns/restorations if left untreated.
  5.  Shelf life of other dental crowns, bridges in your mouth can also be adversely affected.

Key takeaways

You might experience some discomfort or unusualness after having a crown placed, but patients should not miss the Occlusal Adjustment Visit to their Dentists.

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