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Are My Dental Crowns Too Short?

crowns. The implant crowns are on my top left first and second molars, but they do not touch the bottom first and second molars when I bite down. My dentist checked my bite when he placed the crown, and he knows the teeth do not meet. I thought that top and bottom teeth should slightly meet when you bite down or chew. Are my implant crowns too short? – Thank you. Cecilia from Detroit

Cecilia,

Dr. Goebel would need to examine your teeth and implant crowns to determine whether the crowns are too short or if another issue is affecting your bite. But yes, your upper and lower teeth should touch when you bite down or chew. To achieve a proper bite, a dentist needs advanced training in occlusion (how your teeth come together).

Should Your Upper and Lower Teeth Touch?

Your upper and lower teeth should touch when your mouth is closed and when you bite down for several reasons:

  • Jaw function – When you clench your teeth together, all your teeth will meet at the same time if your bite is aligned correctly.
  • Sliding function – When you move your teeth from one side to another, either only your canine teeth should touch, or all your back teeth should touch evenly.

Without proper occlusion (how your teeth meet), your teeth may move over time and become crowded. Also, a misaligned bite can cause jaw and neck pain, headaches, and ringing in our ears.

Diagram of three phases of a dental implant: separate compoonent, implant screw in the bone, and the crown attached
Ask your dentist to recheck your bite if your implant crowns do not fit well.

Some dentists check your bite with this method:

  • Put a 0.05 mm thin strip of plastic between your teeth
  • Ask you to clench your teeth together
  • Pull the strip to see if your teeth can hold it or if it is easy to release

If your teeth meet correctly, they will hold onto the strip.

Ask your dentist to recheck your bite to ensure your implant crowns fit well. If your dentist cannot resolve the issue, schedule a consultation with a dentist with advanced training in occlusion and bite.

 

Cosmetic dentist Thomas J. Goebel, DDS of Moline, Illinois, sponsors this post.