The first step is a bite analysis. One of the tools we use is called the T-scan as shown below. It digitally maps your bite so we know precisely how your teeth bite, from the high spots to the low spots. From there we can figure out what to do, and the T-scan helps us be sure we get the results we want. It is more precise than the “how does it feel” approach. The other thing Dr. Tarantola does is analyze your bite on an instrument that simulates the way your jaw works (called a dental articulator). Click the above link to see more.
LEARN MORE about how Dr. Tarantola analyzes your bite on a jaw movement simulator (articulator).
Correct bite engineering is important for health, stability, and longevity of teeth and restorations, bone support of the teeth, the jaw joints and muscles. When the jaw is relaxed and you lightly close all teeth should touch evenly, like a door closing in the door frame. When you bite hard, the jaw should not shift or move, again like a door closing all the way without binding. When you rub the teeth from side to side and front to back, the front six teeth upper and lower should smoothly slide across each other and the back teeth should not interfere, bump or get in the way. Think of the front wheel of a tricycle smoothly guiding movement of the tricycle. Dragging your feet on the ground as the tricycle moves is like back teeth interfering.
Click here to watch a short video
If there are bite engineering problems, teeth and restorations can wear out, break, get loose or sensitive. Or the jaw joints and muscles may get sore or painful. That’s why a bite engineering check is so important. And that’s why Dr. Tarantola pays close attention to the bite engineering of your teeth. After a 10 Point exam and diagnosis, he may recommend a bite adjustment to correctly engineer your bite. It is a precise procedure that is always done first on models of your mouth. And before that procedure is done, a bite splint may be prescribed to relax the muscles and allow the joints to stabalize first.
In these photos, #1 is a “mis-engineered” bite. The blue dot on the tooth in the lower right corner of the photo is the only tooth touching when the jaw was relaxed. #2 is after the adjustment and you can see marks on all the teeth. This shows that now all teeth are touching evenly. #3 shows what happened before when he rubbed side to side. You can see red marks on a lot of the back teeth. Remember in these rubbing movements, the back teeth should not touch, only the front six. In #4 you can see this and in #2 you can see no red on back teeth now.
The result is a happy, correctly engineered bite!