One of the key positions to design when creating an occlusal scheme is edge to edge, or end to end as some people prefer to call it. The position of the maxillary incisal edge is always dictated by the face to create a pleasing esthetic result. With this in mind adjustments to the occlusion are made by altering the incisal edge position and shape of the lower anterior teeth. All incisal edges have three pieces. The pitch is that flat surface at the top of the incisal edge. Each incisor tooth has two bevels, a leading edge and a trailing edge. These bevels are the transition zone where opposing teeth can move over one another smoothly.
End to end contact occurs when the pitch of the upper anterior teeth is against the pitch of the lower anterior teeth. All occlusal alterations are designed to accomplish the same two goals, force reduction and force distribution. In this position we want big broad contacts that will distribute the force across a larger surface area. These flat broad contacts also give the patient a comfortable place to rest that requires very little muscle activity to maintain Edge to edge occurs both in protrusive and in right and left crossover, so we check and adjust it in all three movements. .With the teeth in this position some patients will have additional tooth contacts on the lateral incisors and canines. In those situations we want to create the same scenario of broad flat contacts. When posterior teeth are able to contact it dramatically increases the amount of muscle engagement and therefore force, so we would ideally want to eliminate these contacts to protect the anterior teeth.
Whether we are performing an equilibration, anterior composites or porcelain restorations creating ideal end to end occlusion adds longevity and predictability to the outcome.
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