Tap, Tap, Tap

A new filling and the dentist is again asking you to tap your teeth together, the go side to side, and back and forth. Seems more like a a dance than checking a filling. What is the dentist doing to check the bite? How does the dentist know if the bite will be OK after the anesthetic is worn off?

How Does the Dentist Assess the New Filling(s)?

Before the procedure to place the filling, the dentist will look very closely at the bite to check all the movements and slides from side to side. This provide an initial

Skygate Dental Wind Up Toy

Skygate Dental Wind Up Toy

measure when placing the filling material. After the filling has been placed the dentist then uses landmarks on the tooth and the adjacent teeth to adjust the filling as close as possible. After this has been finished the dentist then used either articulation paper or shim stock to check the bite. Articulation paper, is a very thin piece of paper that has a tiny amount of ink marking on its surface. Upon biting the teeth together, it leaves tiny pressure marks where the bite of the teeth is meeting. The dentist then adjusts accordingly until the bite is just right. Sometimes this can take quite a few “tap, tap taps”; others it is perfect on the first go. Shim Stock is another bite checking paper but does not have ink on its surface. It is a very very thin piece of flimsy foil, often used to check crowns for adequate spacing.

How does the dentist know the bite will be OK after the numbing if worn off?

Through the process of checking the bite after the filling the dentist attempts to make every necessary effort to make the bite perfect; however, in some cases there can be lateral slide or instance where the bite may still need some adjustments after the initial visit. It is always good after your filling, to allow for the numbness to settle before you really start biting down, to give the body and yourself a chance to feel the filling and make sure it feels perfect.


If you wish for more information on fillings please do not hesitate to contact Skygate dental today on (07) 3114 1199 or 0406 579 197.