Occlusion is perceived to be a subject that describes the morphologic and functional relationships among all components of the masticatory system (the system). It is a branch of knowledge that should explain in detail how the system normally functions and how to make corrections when it does not. Unfortunately, it does not meet these criteria. It is fraught with confusion and frustration because there is no unified theory and no definitive approach to teaching it.

There is no agreement on the occlusal design of teeth, the most ideal way they should touch each other in closure, or the trajectory of the mandible in function, and there are no sound theories on the relationship between the dentition and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). These discordant views have resulted in a lack of understanding of occlusal problems and conflicting philosophies on how to solve them. If we do not agree on these...

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