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J Oral Rehabil. 2015 Mar;42(3):185-91. doi: 10.1111/joor.12242. Epub 2014 Oct 1.

Comparison of direct and indirect occlusal contact examinations with different clenching intensities.

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Department of Oral Function and Rehabilitation, School of Dentistry at Matsudo, Nihon University, Matsudo, Japan.


The aims of this study were to examine the change of occlusal contact area following the increment of clenching intensity using silicone materials and electromyography (EMG) in normal subjects and to compare direct intra-oral examination with indirect examination using dental casts mounted by means of two impression methods. Participants were 7 men and 5 women with no more than one missing tooth per quadrant and no pain in the head and neck region. During the task, intercuspal position was maintained with minimal force, 20% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) and 40% MVC using electromyography visual feedback. Three types of occlusal contact examinations were performed with the aid of blue silicone material in randomised order: (i) intra-oral direct occlusal contact examination (DE), (ii) indirect occlusal contact examination with dental casts using conventional impression method (IEC) and (iii) using occlusal impression method (IEO). Total occlusal contact area during DE and IEO significantly increased from baseline to 20% MVC and from baseline to 40% MVC, but not during IEC. Total occlusal contact area during DE in all tooth clenching conditions was significantly larger compared to IEO and IEC (P < 0·05). At 40% MVC, total occlusal contact area during IEO was significantly larger than during IEC (P < 0·05). These findings suggest that indirect occlusal contact examinations may not accurately reflect the intra-oral occlusal condition. If the intra-oral condition is reproduced using dental casts, these findings also suggest the occlusal impression method was more accurate compared to the conventional method (240 words).


electromyography; interocclusal recording; occlusal contact area; occlusal examination; tooth clenching

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