What Is Occlusal Equilibration Dentist Wyoming, MI

If you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, you know it can be painful. Often, solutions to TMD involve expensive devices or even surgical procedures to help realign your bite.

Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, there’s an easier way: occlusal equilibration. Occlusal equilibration is the process of subtly reshaping teeth in order to correct the alignment of your bite. After you’ve had an occlusal adjustment your teeth should all come into contact at the same time, reducing stress on certain areas of your mouth. Dr. Helmus, our TMD dentist, can help you decide if occlusal equilibration is the right treatment for you.

Symptoms of TMD

Temporomandibular joint disorder is also known as TMJ or TMD. It’s a condition in which the jaw is misaligned, causing pain and other oral health issues related to your bite. You might notice symptoms the most when you wake up in the morning or while eating. Some TMD symptoms include:

  • Pain or stiffness in the jaw or neck
  • Pain or discomfort when chewing
  • Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism
  • Locking or clicking jaw
  • Uneven wearing of tooth enamel
  • Weakened, chipped, or broken teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Difficulty opening your mouth

When TMJ is left untreated, it can lead to other oral health issues down the line, including broken or missing teeth. If you have any of these symptoms and have been diagnosed with TMJ, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with our Wyoming, MI TMJ dentist to see if occlusal equilibration will be an effective treatment method for you. Your jaw pain might not be severe at first, but the sooner you come in to see us, the easier it will be to avoid other, more expensive treatments when it worsens.

The Occlusal Equilibration Process

When your TMD is caused by a misaligned bite, occlusal equilibration can help. The first step is to obtain a TMD diagnosis from your doctor. Jaw pain can be a symptom of many different ailments, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re dealing with. Once you have a formal diagnosis, our office can help.

Dr. Helmus will first take note of the places that your teeth don’t align properly. He will mark the areas and, using precise technology, will file the areas of your teeth’s biting surfaces that protrude and cause the misalignment. Dr. Helmus uses a tiny dental drill in order to address exactly the right areas of your teeth without removing too much enamel. After the procedure your teeth will fit together the way they are meant to, taking the extra pressure off your jaw.

Benefits of Occlusal Equilibration

Occlusal equilibration is pain-free and generally does not require anesthesia. It’s much quicker and more affordable than orthodontics, as it does not require any shifting of your teeth. Your smile will look the same and, after a few days, should feel completely normal. These minor adjustments will help your jaw stay in an ideal position while you’re chewing, and even while you’re relaxed.

If you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ or TMD, occlusal equilibration just might be the treatment option that changes your bite. Dr. Helmus is our Wyoming, MI occlusal equilibration dentist. To schedule your appointment, call River Ridge Dentistry at (616) 538-7320.