What Is A Bite Reclamation, And Why Did The Dentist Recommend It?

A bite reclamation is a type of cosmetic dentistry designed to fix and reverse wear and tear to your teeth that's resulted in a shorter vertical profile. If your dental professional recommended a bite reclamation, here is the information you need to know before making your decision.

What Causes This Condition?

Loss of vertical length can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, acid reflux, a lifetime of grinding your teeth, alcoholism, bulemia, or excessive erosion of enamel. Over time, these factors can cause teeth to chip, crack, or simply wear away. This can lead to bigger and more painful problems in the future. 

What Problems Are Caused by Loss of Vertical Length

This condition causes very real problems for the patient who suffers from it:

  • When your teeth wear away, it prevents them from touching when you close your mouth. This makes it difficult to bite and chew food, which can lead to choking.
  • This condition can also contribute to TMJ, or temporormandibular joint, a disorder of the jaw joint that can cause pain to radiate throughout your face. TMJ makes even the simplest movements, such as chewing or swallowing, intensely painful.
  • Losing vertical length to your teeth shortens your profile and may cause unnecessary wrinkles to form on your face.

If you're experiencing one or more of these issues due to worn and shortened teeth, a bite reclamation is a simple way to remedy the situation. 

How is a Bite Reclamation Performed?

A bite reclamation is a relatively simple procedure for a complicated problem. If your dental professional has already recommended this procedure, then he or she has probably already performed the testing involved to determine whether to fix the upper teeth, lower teeth, or both. 

At the beginning of the procedure, you'll receive anesthesia, and then your dentist will file down any uneven teeth and add fillings to build them back up. Depending upon how badly your teeth have worn away, this may require several appointments to complete. 

Once your procedure is done, you'll typically receive pain medicine to take home as well as instructions on how to avoid infection. This usually involves the use of a special mouth rinse. The healing time for a bite reclamation until you feel no more pain is typically a few weeks. 

Will Your Insurance Cover This Procedure?

Typically, dental insurance does not cover most cosmetic procedures because they're aren't deemed necessary. However, a bite reclamation is classified as a bite adjustment, which may be covered because it affects the way you chew your food and because it can contribute to the pain of TMJ. Often, patients are unaware of exactly which procedures are and aren't covered by their dental insurance. If it's been years since you opted in to your particular plan, or if your carrier recently changed, you may have more coverage than you realize. Talk with your insurance agent before having this procedure performed to find out exactly which types of cosmetic surgery they cover, and you may be pleasantly surprised. 

Your smile is a big part of who you are and how you feel about yourself. And the condition of your teeth is what makes or breaks it. If your smile is suffering because your teeth have worn down, or if you experience daily pain in your jaw from TMJ, then a bite reclamation is a solid solution. If you decide to go forward with this procedure, you'll be amazed at the improvement it will make in your appearance and in easing the pain caused by this malocclusion. Don't let finances or fear stand in the way of repairing the lost vertical length of your teeth. See your dental professional today. For more information, contact a professional.