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The diagnosis and treatment of occlusal disharmonies requires an understanding ofthe variables that affect occluding tooth contacts. Quantitative recordings of tooth contacts and near tooth contacts are necessary for detailed analysis of occlusion. In this study, different thicknesses of registration strips were used to assess the influence of occlusal force and mandibular position on tooth contacts and clearance. This assessment was made for nonworking side molars and working side premolars. There was a significant decrease in clearance with increased occlusal force on both the nonworking and the working sides. A significant increase of clearance was noted as the mandible moved to the most lateral position on the nonworking side. These results indicate that the variables of occlusal force and mandibular position represent potential sources of disparity in the recording of tooth contacts. These variables should be considered when occlusal examination procedures are conducted.
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© 1995 The Editorial Council of The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. Published by Elsevier Inc.