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How to Utilize a Dental Assistant to Equilibrate the Dentition

Equilibration or reshaping of teeth is one of the procedures taught at the Dawson Academy.  The equilibration process begins with step 7 in the 10 Step 3D Treatment planning Checklist (Provide Equal Intensity Stops).  The goal of equilibration is to reshape both posterior and anterior teeth until equal intensity contacts are achieved in centric relation.  Like all other procedures, the dental assistant’s (DA) role is vital to the success of the equilibration process. 

This process is meticulous but requires the efforts of both the Dentist and the Dental Assistant to work together in a smooth, structured and predictable fashion.  To effectively utilize the dental assistant role, the following simple steps may be recommended:

How to use your dental assistant while equilibrating
  • Have your DA hold the cotton gauze + high-speed suction in the non-dominant hand.

  • In the other hand (dominant), have your DA hold the air water syringe + articulating paper holder.

  • As you begin, the DA must keep all surfaces of the teeth moist free by using the cotton gauze and the air water syringe. 

  • During manipulation into C.R., as the patient closes, the DA must have the articulating paper in position to mark the first point of contact while holding your mouth mirror. 

  • After marking is complete, the mouth mirror is returned to the dentist for further equilibration.

  • Throughout the process, the surfaces of the teeth are kept dry to accurately prevent the articulating paper markings from smudging and distorting.

  • This effective method continues until the goal of equilibration is achieved. 

  • The dentist must continue to verbally guide the assistant to the side of the mouth that is being treated as this will keep the flow of communication clear. 

  • Throughout the equilibration process, adequate suction of saliva must be maintained to aid in moisture control.

Equilibrating the dentition can never be done accurately without the help of the Dental Assistant.  A well-trained Dental Assistant will understand the goals in achieving a perfected occlusion.  By implementing these steps, you can utilize your Dental Assistant’s role more efficiently.  Working together in this manner will ensure a predictable outcome, save valuable time, and most importantly instill trust and confidence in your patient.    

Dr. Khanna grew up in Toronto, Canada where he attended the University of Toronto and completed his Bachelor of Science degree (1989). He then continued post graduate school at the University of Detroit Mercy – School of Dentistry and earned his D.D.S. degree (1993). Dr. Khanna then completed a General Practice Residency at the University of Rochester-Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York (1994). After being an associate dentist for several years, Dr. Khanna opened his practice (March 2000) in beautiful downtown Geneva, Illinois. Since then, Dr. Khanna has been extensively involved in continuing education, and recently completed training at the prestigious Dawson Academy (St. Petersburg, FL). Dr. Khanna has dedicated his practice to excellence in comprehensive restorative and esthetic dentistry. Dr. Khanna’s philosophy involves treating every patient in the four aspects of complete dentistry. This includes achieving harmony between jaw joints, muscles, supporting tissues, and teeth. Dr. Khanna is licensed to provide patients with conscious or moderate sedation for all dental procedures. He completed training at the University of Illinois-School of Dentistry [Chicago] in 2003 where he was trained by the head of the Oral Maxillofacial Surgery department for 9 months. Since then Dr. Khanna has been providing sedation to patients for all dental procedures. If you or someone you know is interested in dental sedation, please contact our office for more information. Dr. Khanna is dedicated to his wife Jeanie and his two children, Raj, and Maxime.