What is functional dentistry?
Besides tooth decay and periodontal disease, other issues can also threaten the health and function of your smile, such as occlusal problems, bruxism, and TMJ disorder (to name just a few). Functional dentistry is the art of helping your bite function its best by maintaining proper tooth and jaw balance.
Bruxism, the unconscious grinding of your teeth, can lead to extensive tooth damage. TMJ disorder, a dysfunction in your jaw’s joints, can make biting, chewing, and speaking difficult and uncomfortable. Both conditions can be caused or exacerbated by a discrepancy in your bite (occlusion) and in some cases, occlusal analysis can gauge your likelihood of functional issues.
As you can see, the mouth is a complex system in which teeth, jaws, gums, muscles, nerves, and soft tissues must work together in harmony for optimal oral function and comfort. Dr. Chi focuses on each component of the oral system so that problematic underlying issues may be identified and addressed. He has made this critical understanding the foundation of his dental practice: Proper function is the cornerstone of dental health
At your checkup, the doctor will perform a comprehensive occlusal analysis to determine whether the components of your oral system are working together in balance. He will evaluate how your upper and lower teeth fit together, how your jaw joints are seated, and he’ll look for signs of crazing, chips, fractures, and wear on your back teeth. If he notices any issues, he may ask you questions and do a further examination to determine whether bruxism or TMJ disorder is a concern.