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J Prosthet Dent. 2008 Apr;99(4):299-313. doi: 10.1016/S0022-3913(08)60066-9.

Occlusion for fixed prosthodontics: a historical perspective of the gnathological influence.

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University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, Detroit, MI, USA.


This article addresses the historical perspective of the gnathological influence upon the concepts of occlusion for fixed prosthodontics. A critical assessment and subsequent scientific validation of occlusal theories require an understanding of their evolution in the formative years and the subsequent development of effective models for clinical practice. While gnathological concepts offer a structured methodology for prosthodontic procedures, further research is needed to corroborate current occlusal treatment approaches. This review focuses on the "classic" fixed prosthodontic literature and the currently available scientific literature involving fixed prosthodontic dentate occlusion and gnathology. A MEDLINE search was performed to identify English-language peer-reviewed publications spanning the last 56 years, along with an extensive hand search for years prior. Electronic searches of the literature were performed in MEDLINE using the key words: case series, clinical trials, cohort studies, fixed partial denture occlusion, dental occlusion, dental occlusion research, centric relation, incisal guidance, maximal intercuspation, occlusal vertical dimension, and occlusion, in various combinations to obtain potential references for review. A total of 10,382 English-language nonduplicate titles were obtained for 1950-2006 for the key words "dental occlusion." Other key word searches produced smaller numbers of articles, many of which were duplicates due to multiple searches and were subsequently eliminated. Manual hand searching of the MEDLINE reference list and other journals of interest was performed to identify any articles missed in the original search. Articles were included for review if they contained emerging occlusal theories, new technologies, or occlusal studies that included multiple subjects in contrast to case reports.

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