Following proper diagnosis and
, occlusal equilibration can provide selected patients with the most conservative, predictable, and safest treatment possible. Occlusal equilibration can often help avoid the need for more complex treatments. Unfortunately, a rift among dental educators, coupled with confusion in the literature over its safety and effectiveness, leaves many dental professionals questioning whether occlusal equilibration should be used at all.
Contributing to the ambiguity surrounding occlusal equilibration is the fact that some dental continuing education courses have trouble discussing this topic because of faulty research that views occlusal equilibration in a negative light. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that dental professionals choose dental continuing education programs that present an unbiased, scientific-based approach that concentrates on the fundamental principles of occlusion and proper protocols for incorporating occlusal equilibration into clinical practice.
Dentists who have developed proficiency in equilibration universally agree it is one of the most practical skills they use routinely in practice. Deflective tooth inclines force displacement of the TMJs to achieve complete closure into maximal intercuspation. This forced jaw displacement can lead to painful jaw muscle hyperactivity, excessive tooth wear, fractured cusps, and a myriad of other signs and symptoms from sore teeth to headaches. Occlusal equilibration is often the most conservative, time effective, cost effective way to achieve an occlusion free of deflective interferences. Dentists who have never experienced the predictable effects of equilibration, done correctly on properly selected patients may dismiss the importance of occlusal equilibration. But learning the fundamentals and developing some necessary skills can be a significant eye opener to the value of a deflective free occlusion.