If something flies “in the teeth of” something else it is opposing it. This uses opposing as a verb (action word). In dentistry, opposing is used as an adjective (describing word) to talk about the tooth or teeth that meet up with the tooth or teeth your dentist is working on. In a large case, opposing could mean the entire other arch (upper or lower). This is why your dentist sometimes takes an impression of the top when you’re having work done on a bottom tooth or the bottom teeth when you’re having work done on a top tooth. In order to make sure dental appliances fit you correctly, we need to know what the opposite side looks like and how your teeth come together.
Opposing teeth are also why we ask you to bite on a marking paper after we’ve done a filling or crown. We want to see how your teeth come together. If an area is hitting too hard or too high, it can break the filling material or cause you discomfort—sometimes a lot of discomfort! Teeth are used to sharing the load of chewing and biting. A high spot puts more stress on that particular tooth. For many people, that extra stress makes the tooth sensitive to everything (hot, cold, breathing etc.) Even a small adjustment can often make the tooth feel much better! (This is why it is often what we suggest trying first if you’ve had a recent filling and developed these symptoms shortly after.)
Your dentist should be your ally in creating your best dental health rather than an opponent! Most want to make your visit as pleasant an experience as possible.
NOTE: Information in this article is not meant to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare professionals.
Dr. Jennifer Robb is taking new patients. She has over 20 years experience with 16 of them being at her current location of 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH. Call 440-960-1940 to schedule. Find more information at www.drjrobb.com or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb