What is a bite adjustment?
Bite adjustments re-shape your teeth to correct the way that they connect. When your bite doesn’t align correctly, it causes one or more of the teeth to touch harder than they should. This can lead to grinding of the teeth—also called bruxism—and many other issues.
What are the signs that a bite adjustment may be necessary?
There are a multitude of symptoms that point to dental problems that can be corrected through a bite adjustment. The most common of these include loose or shifting teeth, frequent headaches related to exertion of the jaw, pain in the mouth—especially while eating, and a grinding noise in the jaw when chewing or talking.
There are a variety of bite problems and dental difficulties that can be corrected with an adjustment, including teeth grinding and pain associated with TMJ disorder.
How effective is bite adjustment?
Bite adjustments are very effective. Patients report a decrease in teeth grinding, which leads to fewer headaches and makes them more comfortable while eating and sleeping over the long run. These adjustments also prevent gum recession and pain associated with wearing down of the teeth due to high impact.
What happens during the procedure?
On the initial visit, Dr. Ballard will do a comprehensive assessment of your bite, and go over any dental procedures that you may have had in the past. X-rays may be ordered and dental impressions made to further diagnose the problem. The teeth will be marked to determine which areas are receiving harsh impact, through the use of indicator tape. The actual reshaping is performed with a dental drill. After subsequent visits to seek out and correct further issues, the teeth will be polished.
Is the process painful?
In general, no. Only the enamel is reshaped, and enamel has no feeling. In some cases, however, extensive reshaping may be necessary, and fillings will be placed to restore normal contours. If this type of treatment is necessary, proper anesthesia will be used.
Are follow-up visits necessary?
Yes. You’ll likely feel an improvement immediately, but this may call other irregularities to your attention. After the initial reshaping, you may notice that other teeth touch at a higher impact than they should. These teeth are reshaped at subsequent visits. Patients may also require further resurfacing in the future, due to the natural wear of teeth or degradation of the teeth caused by oral disease.
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