BITE EQUILIBRATION – in Dentistry refers to a process in removing, reducting, reshaping or reconstruction of chewing surfaces of one or more teeth that hinders balanced bite. This imbalanced bite creates heavy forces for the opposing teeth resulting in pain, difficulty chewing, mobility of involved tooth, swelling of gums or jawbone deterioration and tooth disintegration. This is a long and tedious process of checking and calibrating the bite disharmony by using articulating colored papers, usually red and blue. In a clinic setting, the dentist would recline the patient and using a thin aluminum foil [pasted with adhesive wax] would insert the foil in the patient’s front teeth [incisor teeth] and would be asked to bite into it, while being guided by the dentist in the desired jaw position. This will raise the back teeth in a fraction of .5mm. Contact points on molar teeth [ back teeth] are checked by passing a special colored aluminum foil. If back teeth are in contact another foil is clipped in central incisor teeth overlapping the 1st foil and so on until no back teeth are touching. Sometimes 3-7 foils are used. For 20 minutes the patient will be biting these foils until his/her bite is deprogrammed.

After a few minutes [ 20 minutes] the foil will be removed one by one in series. When the 1st foil is removed, the aluminum foil is pass over the back teeth to check for contact. If positive contact was registered, molar contact will be reduced, next foil attached to the front teeth will be removed again and following the first step, the process goes to the last foil until all teeth are in occlusal contact. This same process of using colored articulating papers are repeated to check the lateral bite [ left and right biting] for abnormal contacts[ balancing contacts]. The last stage is to check for the forward [ protrusive bite] for eccentric contacts. All eccentric , abnormal contacts are removed until the all the teeth contacts in three stages of jaw movements – opening and closing, side to side and in protrusive phase. Successful bite equilibration will end in balanced bite, no pain during chewing and no abnormal tooth mobility at various phases of jaw movements.
Bite equilibration also requires tooth reshaping for supra erupted tooth or misaligned tooth, tooth reconstruction of worn out teeth using composite resin. All these schemes are employed to relieve the patients from pain and discomfort due to Temporomandibular Dysfunction. [TMD]