occlusal pivot


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oc·clu·sal piv·ot

an elevation contrived on the occlusal surface, usually in the molar region, designed to act as a fulcrum and to induce sagittal mandibular rotation.

oc·clu·sal piv·ot

(ŏ-klūzăl pivŏt)
Artificial elevation placed in the molar region either on the occlusal surface of a tooth or on an interocclusal appliance to cause closing rotation of the mandible and consequently distraction of the mandibular condyle whenever a patient closes on this pivot. This was proposed to reduce compression in patients with inflamed temporomandibular joints. Biomechanically, in the sagittal plane, this distraction does not occur because the combined closing forces of the masticatory muscles are always posterior to the teeth (and thus any pivot point), which will therefore cause compression of the condyle. In the frontal plane, it may be possible to cause a unilateral distraction of a condyle with such a pivot.