Function and esthetics are more inextricably linked than you might think. As the research and practical understanding of occlusion increases, we continue to see that achieving a beautiful smile goes hand in hand with influencing healthier function. The occlusal relationship cannot be ignored.
Occlusal Relationship and Esthetics
Dental occlusion has been considered a controversial topic of the field. Truly, it was once difficult to quantify the measurable benefits to oral health. Occlusion is much more commonly treated these days, as well as much more effectively on the whole.
We more clearly see the implications of TMJ issues, parafunction, grinding, headaches, and more that can make esthetically-driven reconstructions fail early. Not to mention how significantly occlusion impacts quality of life for patients.
If you’re not on the occlusion bandwagon, well, now’s the perfect time to start! It’s inspiring to see how happy patients are to look good and feel good.
This case by Dr. Jason Olitsky is a particularly inspirational example of a restoration that completely changed a patient’s life. Dr. Olitsky took pre-operative videos that led him to the realization that the patient would need occlusal treatment. He was faced with the problem of needing to lengthen the incisal edge position. This would inevitably deepen the patient’s bite and make the restoration susceptible to failure.
The solution was to increase the patient’s vertical dimension, a technique we’ve delved into on the Gold Dust blog before. It’s a very handy technique that in this case ensured there was plenty of restorative space to create the desired tooth anatomy.
Everyone’s a winner when occlusion is handled with the longevity of the patient’s oral health and restoration in mind. Diagnostics are thus a foundational piece of complex dental care and success.
How has treating occlusion impacted your dental care? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!