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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: ORTHODONTICS
The Art and Practice of Dentofacial Enhancement

Formerly World Journal of Orthodontics

Edited by
Rafi Romano, DMD, MSc (Editor-in-Chief)

ISSN 2160-2999 (print) / ISSN 2160-3006 (online)

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Spring 2011
Volume 12 , Issue 1

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Phantom Bite: A Survey Of US Orthodontists

Bozena B. Ligas, DMD, MS/Maria Therese S. Galang, DMD, MS/Ellen A. BeGole, PhD/Carla A. Evans, DDS, DMSc/Gary D. Klasser, DMD/Charles S. Greene, DDS

Pages: 38–47
PMID: 21789289

Aim: In 1976, Marbach described the term phantom bite as a patient’s perception of an irregular bite when the clinician could identify no evidence of a discrepancy. Typically, the patient presents with a history of bite-altering procedures, hyperawareness of occlusion, and a persistent complaint of an uncomfortable bite, usually with an absence of pain. Patients with phantom bite complaints often undergo lengthy, expensive, irreversible, invasive, and unnecessary treatments in search of a resolution of their symptoms. The objectives of the study were: (1) to gauge orthodontists’ awareness of phantom bite and its associated signs and symptoms, (2) to identify the most common types of treatments rendered for this phenomenon, (3) to determine if regional differences or length of practice experience affected the aforementioned factors, and (4) to determine sex characteristics of patients with phantom bite. Methods: The study consisted of a 14-item survey administered electronically using SurveyMonkey software. Using the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) directory, 4,124 orthodontists were recruited to participate via email; 337 completed the survey. Results: Approximately 50% of the responding orthodontists were unfamiliar with the term “phantom bite”; however, many reported seeing patients with phantom bite complaints. Demographic differences, such as geographic region of practice or years in practice, did not affect familiarity with this condition or its treatment. Conclusion: The results suggest a need for increasing awareness of this condition among orthodontic practitioners to provide patients with appropriate care. Orthodontics 2011;12:38–47.

Key words: phantom bite, occlusion, occlusal dysthesia, occlusal hyperawareness

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