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in a dental context, means simply the contact between teeth. More technically, it is the relationship between the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth when they approach each other, as occurs during chewing or at rest.
Malocclusion is the misalignment of teeth and jaws, or more simply, a “bad bite”. Malocclusion can cause a number of health and dental problems.
Static occlusion refers to contact between teeth when the jaw is closed and stationary, while dynamic occlusion refers to occlusal contacts made when the jaw is moving. Dynamic occlusion is also termed as articulation. During chewing, there is no tooth contact between the teeth on the chewing side of the mouth.
Centric occlusion is the occlusion of opposing teeth when the mandible is in centric relation. Centric occlusion is the first tooth contact and may or may not coincide with maximum intercuspation. It is also referred to as a person’s habitual bite, bite of convenience, or intercuspation position (ICP). Centric relation, not to be confused with centric occlusion, is a relationship between the maxilla and mandible.
Condyles move from the glenoid fossa in a forward and downward movement onto the articular eminence when the mandible moves into protrusion. Condylar inclination refers to the angle protrusion makes when the horizontal when the patient is sitting upright
In protrusion, contact between the teeth is governed by incisor relationship and guidance. For instance, the mandibular movement of patients with Class I incisors relationships would be inferiorly resulting in separation of the posterior teeth. This is to overcome the natural overbite of the Class I relationship for the mandible to make a protrusive movement.
The side to which the mandible moves is called the working side and the opposite side is the non-working side. Bennett Movement refers to the lateral movement of the working side condyle when the mandible moves laterally. Bennett’s Angle is measured at the non-working condyle when it moves forward and medially during lateral excursion
Lateral excursion of the mandible is usually governed by Canine guidance or Group Function at the working side. In some cases, teeth at the non-working side can also be in contact when the condylar inclination is shallow or if the tooth guidance on the working side is shallow.
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