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The study and practice of most branches

of dentistry should be based on a strong foundation of knowledge of occlusion. The Pedodontist should know what constitutes normal occlusion in order to be able to recognize abnormal occlusion. A balanced, stable, healthy and esthetically attractive occlusion is also conceivable normal even if minor rotation are present.

And yet, what may be abnormal for one

age may be normal for another.

The curve of spee, compensatory curve,

cusp height and facial relation of each tooth to its antagonist and other characteristics of occlusion may all vary within a broad range and still be normal.

Good examples of the time-linked nature of

normally are such transient malocclusion, as crowding during, eruption of incisors, the ugly duckling flaring of maxillary lateral incisors, the Class II first molar relationship tendencies before loss of second deciduous molars.

clusion means closing and oc means up thus

occlusion is closing up.


The development of the idea of occlusion can be
traced through fiction and hypothesis to fact.

The FICTIONAL APPROACH, in a philosophical

sense, was convenient arrangement of series of observed and thoughts more or, less logically arrange. occlusion was based on a provisional acceptance of certain logical entities. This is just the opposite of fiction.

The HYPOTHETICAL ATTACK on the problem of

The development of concept of occlusion thus can be divided into three periods:

The fictional period, prior to 1900, The hypothetical period, from 1900 to 1930, The factual period, from 1930 to the present
development of concept of occlusion

Classification of occlusion
Based on mandibular
position. Based on relationship of 1st permanent molar. Based on organization of occlusion. Based on pattern of occlusion.

Based on Mandibular Position

1. Centric Occlusion
2. Eccentric Occlusion

1. Centric Occlusion
It is the occlusion of the teeth when mandible is
in centric relation. Centric relation has been defined as the maxillomandibular relationship in which condyles articulate with the thinnest avascular position of their respective discs with complex in the anterosuperior position against shape of articular eminence. This position is independent of tooth contact and is clinically identify when mandible is directed anterirly and superiorly.

2 Eccentric Occlusion
It is defined as the occlusion other than
centric occlusion It includes :

Lateral occlusion Protruded occlusion Retrusive Occlusion

Lateral Occlusion
It is defined as the contact between
opposing teeth when the mandible is moved either right or left.

Protruded Occlusion
It defined as the occlusion of the teeth
when the mandible is protruded. It is anterior to centric occlusion.

Retrusive Occlusion
Occlusion of the teeth when the mandible
is retruded. It is posterior to centric occlusion.

Based on relationship of 1st permanent molar

Angles classification : 3 types
1. 2.


Class 1 Class 2 Div 1 Div 2 Class 3

Class 1
Mesio Buccal
cusp of maxillary first permanent molar occludes in the buccal groove of mandibular first permanent molar.

Class 2
Disto Buccal cusp of the maxillary first
permanent molar occludes in the buccal groove of the lower first permanent molar.

Class 2 Div 1
Proclined upper incisors with a resultant
increase in overjet. A deep incisor overbite can occur in anterior region.

Class 2 Div 2
Presence of lingually
inclined upper central incisors and labially tipped upper lateral incisors overlap the cental incisors. Patient exhibits a deep anterior overbite.

Class 2 Subdivision
When a class 2 molar relation exsists on
one side and a class 1 relation on the other side, it is referred as class 2 subdivision.

Class 3
Mesio Buccal cusp of the maxillary first
permanent molar occluding in the interdental space between mandibular first and second molar.

Based on the organization of occlusion

A. Canine guide or protected occlusion During lateral movements, only working side canine comes into contact with the other. This results in disocclusion of all posterior teeth. The tip or the buccal incline of the lower canine is seen to slide along with palatal surface of upper canine.

B. Mutually protected occlusion

The posterior teeth
prevent excessive contact of the anterior teeth in maximum intercuspation. The anterior teeth disengage the posterior teeth in all mandibular extrusive movement.

C. Group function occlusion

It is define as the
multiple contact relationship between the maxillary and mandibular teeth, in lateral movements of the working side. By simultaneous contacts of several teeth is achieved and they act as a group to distribute occlusal forces.

Based on pattern of occlusion

A. Cusp to embrasure/
marginal ridge occlusion

This pattern of occlusion shows fitting of one cusp of a teeth into a fossa and fitting of another cusp of same tooth into embrasure area of two teeth. This is tooth to two teeth relation.

Cusp to fossa occlusion

This pattern of occlusion shows, all cusp
of a tooth fitting into fossa only one opposing teeth. This is a tooth to one tooth relation.


- Andrews gathered data from 1960 to 1964 of non-orthodontic normal models. Key I Molar relationship The distal surface of distobuccal cusp of upper first permanent molar occluded with the mesial surface of the mesiobuccal cusp of the lower second molar.

Key II - Crown angulation (Tip)

The gingival portion of the long axis of the

all crowns was more distal than the incisal portion.


Crown inclination

crown inclination refers to the labiolingual or

buccolingual inclination of long axis of the crown, not to the inclination of long axis of entire tooth.

Crown inclination is expressed in plus or minus degrees. A plus reading is given if the gingival portion of the crown is lingual to the incisal portion. A minus reading is recorded when the gingival portion of the crown is labial to the incisal portion.

a) Anterior crown

inclination: ) Properly inclined anterior crowns contribute to normal overbite and posterior occlusion. ) Inclination should be positive in this categary of teeth.

b) Posterior crown inclination (upper) : A minus crown inclination should exist in each crown from the upper canine through the upper second premolar . A slightly more negative crown inclination exists in the upper first and second molars.

c) posterior crown inclination (lower): A progressively greater minus crown inclination exists from the lower canine through lower second molar.

Key IV Rotations

The fourth key to normal occlusion is that

the teeth should be free of undesirable rotations.

Key V Tight contacts

The fifth key is that the contact points

should be tight (no spaces).

Key VI Occlusal plane or cur ve of spee

The planes of occlusion found on normal models ranged crown flat to slight curves of Spee. Even though not all of the non-orthodontic normal had flat planes of occlusion, flat plane should be a treatment goal as a form of overtreatment. There is a natural tendency for curve of Spee to deepen with time. Intercuspation of teeth is best when the plane of occlusion is relatively flat.

The primary aim of understanding of
occlusion would be to differentiate between a developing normal occlusion and a potential malocclusion. This gives a sound understanding of occlusion & dental development and the ability to recognize the rate and direction of facial and dental growth.

The pedodontist should know about the goal

of treatment i.e. where to stop the treatment. For this a basic knowledge of normal occlusion should known to us. Normal occlusion is not a rigid or static relationship. What is normal interdigitation in deciduous and mixed dentition is abnormal in permanent dentition and vice versa. The study of normal occlusion can be used to make a preliminary assessment of childs occlusal status.

The data can be used to advise the parent

of the childs growth potential and possible development problems. Successful treatment involves many disciplines, not all of which are always within our control. Achieving the final desired occlusion is the purpose of attending to the six keys to normal occlusion.