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Does an Occlusal Adjustment Cause Pain? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

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Few people have perfect teeth – that’s a fact. A poor bite or misaligned teeth is known as a “malocclusion” in the world of dentistry. An occlusal adjustment aligns your bite and ensure your top and bottom teeth touch evenly.

Treating Malocclusion

Generally speaking, there are three classes of malocclusions, which range from minor to severe. In the case of any type of malocclusions, corrective action may be elected if the problem is advanced enough. While correction methods may include orthodontics or oral devices, other measures may include the likes of tooth reconstruction or reshaping.

When people are weighing treatments to resolve malocclusions, one of the most common inquiries we receive is what type of pain is involved in the various sorts of occlusal adjustments offered. We’re always happy to report when patients shouldn't experience any pain when undergoing such treatments, something that gives them peace of mind about each procedure. This post will take a closer look at the various types of occlusal adjustments we administer and what’s involved in each of them:

Popular Types of Occlusal Adjustments


Braces and oral devices such as retainers are perhaps most closely associated with fixing misaligned teeth or poor bites. Braces generally attach to the teeth and band together via wires.

Pain level: While it’s normal for patients to experience some sensitivity and mild soreness for a day or two when braces wires are tightened, this certainly doesn’t classify as “pain.” The same can be said about retainers.


Splints are custom made oral devices that work to prevent bruxism or other conditions that could cause a malocclusion to occur or get worse.

Pain level: Typically, they’re only worn at night and fit comfortably in the mouth.

Tooth reshaping

In some situations, the teeth may be aligned properly, but they just don’t bite down like they’re supposed to. In these cases, tooth reshaping is almost always the solution. This procedure involves either removing parts of the tooth or adding to the tooth until an errant bite is fixed. It may be carried out with only one or two teeth, or with several.

Pain level: Though it may sound intensive, it’s not painful at all.

Mouth reconstruction

In more widespread cases, either a full or partial mouth reconstruction may be necessary. This may consist of a variety of procedures, such as replacing old fillings, reshaping teeth and other restorative work like crowns, bridges or veneers. Reconstruction isn’t typically something that is done in one appointment, but in several appointments spread out across several weeks or months.

Pain level: It’s a bit of a marathon, rather than a sprint, but the procedures are not painful and the results are typically very satisfactory.

Talk to Your Dentist

Occlusal adjustments are pretty straightforward and routine. And while there may be some minor discomfort associated with some procedures in the hours or days following, it can hardly be classified as “pain.” 


For more information on occlusal adjustment procedures and what you can expect, contact Caven Dental today.

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