As discussed in Chapter 1, any new restoration must be in harmony with the existing occlusion if this is satisfactory, but may be used to create a new occlusal relationship in situations when the existing pattern is not satisfactory. In order for this to be determined, pre-operative examination of the occlusion is obviously essential. This may involve the use of study models mounted with a face bow record on an articulator, especially if multiple units or units involving guiding surfaces are to be restored. Note must be taken of existing relationships, both static (intercuspal position) and excursive (canine guidance or group function, anterior guidance and the presence of excursive interferences or gross discrepancies in movement from a retruded position to the intercuspal position).
The new restoration should be constructed such that it has sufficient contacts with the opposing tooth/teeth to maintain a stable relationship, which will also depend upon the durability of the material from which it is constructed. In addition, if the restoration is to provide a guiding surface, then the nature of this guidance (for example, whether to copy or change the existing relationship) must be carefully planned before the preparation is commenced.
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