Enhanced Verifiable CPD from the
University of Birmingham

Static Occlusion, Dynamic Occlusion and Guidance

Previous pages have looked at mandibular movements in the sagittal (forward-back) plane.

We will now examine the effects of the mandible moving in lateral excursions.


Static occlusion

Static occlusion is the study of contacts between the teeth when the jaw is not moving. The contacts are points (seen as dots when articulating paper is used).

For example, close your teeth in your intercuspal position (i.e. where they meet best). Is your bite heaviest on your back teeth? Is it evenly spread over all the back teeth? Is there hardly any weight on the front teeth? Many dentists would describe that as the “ideal”. If you are providing a crown or filling for a patient like this, you would try not to disturb such an occlusion by leaving the restoration high (or low).

Click the picture above to see the ink marks made with a static occlusion (intercuspal position in this case - the patient was asked to "tap together on the back teeth"). more…


(No) Freedom In Centric

Bite on your back teeth. Can you slide a tiny way forwards before you bump into your anteriors? If so, you have "Freedom In Centric Occlusion" (also known as "Long Centric"). Remember - Centric Occlusion is another word for Intercuspal Position (ICP).

The picture above shows no freedom in centric - ICP causes marks to appear on the incisors. Compare it with the picture at the page top, which has freedom in centric.

Dynamic occlusion
Dynamic occlusion is the study of the contacts that teeth make when the mandible is moving – contacts when the jaw moves sideways, forwards, backwards, or at an angle. The contacts are not points, they are lines.

If you get a patient to grind their teeth in every direction on piece of articulating paper, you will see the lines formed by dynamic occlusion

Although the jaw is moved by muscles, the contact lines depend on both the teeth positions and shapes (obviously), and the shape of the TMJ. These shapes GUIDE the occlusion.

You may have heard the phrases posterior guidance and anterior guidance used when the mandible moves about in protrusive and lateral excursions Can you say what the terms mean?

Working side and non-working side.
Can you define these terms?

Types of anterior guidance in lateral excursions.
Click the pictures to see typical ink marks associated with each type of guidance. Note the dots formed by intercuspal position (static), and the lines caused by a lateral excursion to the right.


Canine Guidance
If you slide you teeth to your right, and only your right canines contact during this lateral excursion, then you have canine guidance. This is reckoned to be a good thing, as canines are excellent at coping with lateral forces. If this happens, you are said to have a canine-protected occlusion. (The same idea applies to the left of course.)
Click pictures to magnify


Group function
If however when you slide laterally a number of teeth on your working side are in contact at the same time, all sharing the load, this is called group function. This might happen if your canines have worn down over time, or are crooked.
This is reckoned to be second best. With group function, the heaviest loads should ideally be near the most anterior of these teeth, and lighter loads near the back.


Working side interference
When you move your jaw laterally, if the first contact is just on a single tooth near the back (on the working side), this is called a working side interference. For example, perhaps there is an upper molar which has tilted into an adjacent extraction space.


Non-working side interference
A non-working side interference is when any tooth on the opposite side makes the first contact.

These interferences are providing anterior guidance, but as the name suggests, not in a way that dentists approve of ! They are considered the least desirable types of anterior guidance.

Membership Options

Dentaljuce offers a range of membership options…

Regular Membership

With enhanced CPD Certificates. Dentaljuce is brought to you by the award winning Masters team from the School of Dentistry, University of Birmingham, UK. All have won awards for web based learning and teaching and are recognised as leaders and innovators in this field, as well as being highly experienced clinical teachers. Full access to over 100 courses, no extras to pay.

Buy Now

£89.00 per year

Student Membership

No Certificates. With universities cutting down on traditional lectures, many students are currently having to rely more on online resources. If you don't need CPD Certificates, we are offering an amazing discount on your Dentaljuce personal membership fee. Special student price just £29 for 12 months individual membership.

Buy Now

£29.00 per year

Very good, detail excellent, very clear to use.

© Dentaljuce 2024 | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy

Recording CPD time: recorded.