When it has been determined that the biting surfaces of your teeth are not meshing together harmoniously, an occlusal adjustment or equilibration may be helpful in restoring a healthy bite. The occlusal equilibration is the mechanical adjustment of your teeth, dentures, bridges, crowns, fillings or other oral appliances to allow your lower jaw to function effectively with a minimal amount of strain to the joint, muscles and teeth.
The occlusal equilibration can be done when only a minimal amount of adjustment is needed to return the jaw to an acceptable position. Slight changes are made to the inclines of the cusps (sharp tips of the back teeth), to fillings, crowns, or other restorations. There is no pain involved, and no shots are needed. This is more like a polishing procedure than “drilling teeth”.
There are no long-term harmful effects of this procedure. It will not weaken the teeth, or make them more prone to decay. You will not even be able to see a difference, but the teeth will feel and fit differently. Most patients remark that the teeth fit more evenly and feel more solid.
This procedure is designed to reduce the stress on the jaw muscles and joints as much as possible. But with the complex nature of TMD, there are limitations on how successful this may be at relieving your symptoms. It is the most conservative treatment available for this type of problem. Other alternative treatments include orthodontic treatment, surgery, or extensive restorative treatment to alter the biting surfaces. With the equilibration procedure, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Dr. Reynolds uses the study models of your teeth to identify some of the improper contact points. He will guide you through a series of jaw movements, and use marking ribbon, as well as the T-Scan, computer sensor to further analyze your bite and determine the proper points to adjust.