An evidence-based guide to occlusion and articulation. Part 1: Occlusal terminology and a guide to jaw movement.




malocclusions, bruxism


Although this is essentially a review, it has not been written in the passive, third-person style normally associated with scientific writing, as it is intended to be thought-provoking and, hopefully, educational. It has therefore been written in more of a conversational style, and is aimed at students, dentists and dental technicians who are receptive to a slightly different view of occlusion and articulation, based on evidence. Occlusion is a topic that has become a kind of archaic minefield of conflicting ideas, propositions, and above all,
solutions, most of which are based on a complete lack of understanding of the evolution and development of teeth, and by extension, of clinically objective evidence. That in itself is a statement of conflict (and perhaps even heretical), but it is by way of warning that this guide is not going to be much like anything you will find in standard text-books of dentistry or dental technology. It is, rather,
an attempt to help you navigate through what you will read elsewhere, in the hope that eventually you will find an understanding that you can live with. It will appear as a sequential series in 7 Parts.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Online etymological dictionary available at www. Accessed April 2021

Ackerman JL, Ackerman MB, Kean MR. A Philadelphia fable: how ideal occlusion became the philosopher's stone of orthodontics. Angle Orthod, 2007; 77(1): 192-4.

Costen JB. A syndrome of ear and sinus symptoms dependent upon disturbed function of the temporomandibular joint. 1934. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol, 1934; 106(10 Pt 1): 805-19.

Goodfriend DJ. Dysarthrosis and subarthrosis of mandibular articulation. Dent Cosmos, 1932; 74(523).

Sears VH. Occlusal pivots. J Prosthet Dent 1956; 6(3): 332-338.

Ramfjord SP. Dysfunctional temporomandibular joint and muscle pain. J Prosthet Dent 1961; 11(2): 353-74.

Ramfjord SP. Bruxism, a clinical and electromyographic study. J Am Dent Assoc 1961; 62(1): 21-44. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.1961.0002.

Michelotti A, Farella M, Steenks MH, Gallo LM, Palla S. No effect of experimental occlusal interferences on pressure pain thresholds of the masseter and temporalis muscles in healthy women. Eur J Oral Sci, 2006; 114(2): 167-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-722.2006.00298.x

Michelotti A, Iodice G. The role of orthodontics in temporomandibular disorders. J Oral Rehabil, 2010; 37(6): 411-429. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2010.02087.x

Goodman P, Greene CS, Laskin DM. Response of patients with myofascial pain-dysfunction syndrome to mock equilibration. J Am Dent Assoc 1976; 92(4): 755-8. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.1976.0419.

Ono Y, Yamamoto T, Kubo KY, Onozuka M. Occlusion and brain function: mastication as a prevention of cognitive dysfunction. J Oral Rehabil. 2010; 37(8): 624-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2010.02079.x.

Tanaka E, Detamore MS, Tanimoto K, Kawai N. Lubrication of the temporomandibular joint. Ann Biomed Eng. 2008; 36(1): 14-29. doi: 10.1007/s10439-007-9401-z.

Jay GD, Waller KA. The biology of lubricin: near frictionless joint motion. Matrix Biol. 2014; 39: 17-24. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2014.08.008.

Posselt U. Range of movement of the mandible. J Am Dent Assoc 1958; 56(1): 10-3. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.1958.0017

McMillan AS, McMillan DR, Darvell BW. Centers of rotation during jaw movements. Acta Odontol Scand. 1989; 47(5): 323-8. doi: 10.3109/00016358909007719

Krohn S, Frahm J, Mahler A, Dathe H, Sedaghat S, Kubein-Meesenburg D, et al. Biomechanical analysis of temporomandibular joint dynamics based on real-time magnetic resonance imaging. Int J Comput Dent. 2020; 23(3): 235-244.

Montalva FM, Sosa FF, Aguilar LO, Taylor JA. Videofluoroscopic analysis of temporomandibular joint ankylosis. J Craniofac Surg. 2008; 19(3): 726-31. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31816aaaf2.

The Glossary of Prosthodontic Terms: Ninth Edition. J Prosthet Dent. 2017; 117(5S): e1-e105. doi: 10.1016/j.prosdent.2016.12.001.

Morgano SM, VanBlarcom CW, Ferro KJ, Bartlett DW. The History of The Glossary of Prosthodontic Terms. J Prosthet Dent 2018; 119(3): 311-312. doi: 10.1016/j.prosdent.2017.10.001

Carlsson GE. Some dogmas related to prosthodontics, temporomandibular disorders and occlusion. Acta Odontol Scand. 2010; 68(6): 313-22. doi: 10.3109/00016357.2010.517412.




How to Cite

Owen, C. (2022). An evidence-based guide to occlusion and articulation. Part 1: Occlusal terminology and a guide to jaw movement. South African Dental Journal, 77(01), 29–32.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>