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A Deep and Steep Grind



A dentist treats a patient in a dental clinic.

Q: I’ve had trouble with my teeth all my life. I’ve had big fillings, crowns, root canals and extractions. I never seem to be able to catch up with the dental work; no sooner is something done than something else crops up. It’s discouraging. I’ve asked several dentists why it happens and mostly I get the “floss more – brush more” brush off. I really was upset when several months ago one of my upper front teeth had to be pulled. I’m left with this tooth fastened to pink plastic that holds the tooth in by friction. My dentist called it a flipper. It’s better than having a hole but I don’t like it. I’m supposed to get an implant in a couple of months, so I guess that will be better. Two weeks ago I saw another dentist. He looked at my mouth, examined my bite and told me that I needed my bite attended to before any implant and crown was permanently affixed. I know I have a deep overbite and my teeth do wear. I was told that I’ve worn away over half of my front teeth and that the wear is accelerating because I’ve worn off the enamel of the front of my lower teeth and the backs of my upper front teeth. I’ve also got a lower right tooth broken off and I’m missing my upper left molar. The guy said I might need braces and surgery to correct my bite but I’m nearly fifty and I can’t see myself going through jaw surgery. Oh, he said that my overbite was 150%, whatever that means. Is there something else I can do?


A: The comment that you have a 150% overbite is important and helpful to future treatment. It simply means this – when you close your teeth together so that the back teeth are touching firmly, your upper front teeth not only cover the whole length of your lower front teeth, they actually go beyond and cover the gums to a distance of one half the length of your lower teeth again. By all accounts that is a very deep and steep overbite.


The mechanics of front teeth is such that they glide against one another to provide proper force distribution in one’s mouth and to cut off or bite off food for intake and chewing.


Your bite has double-trouble in that the gliding takes in the whole length of your front teeth and the forces of function are increased due to the tightness of fit in deep overbites.


A new relationship can and should be created on laboratory models which duplicate your bite. The goal is to reduce the overbite. This can be done without braces or surgery. Carefully done, you can have a long-lasting result without further extreme wear.


If we can help, we’d like to. Call 778-410-2080 for a consultation or visit us today.

 

Based on actual patient cases

© Calvin Ross Crapo

Victoria Implant Centre 778-410-2080

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