This study investigates the cusp angle and movement variables related to balancing-side disclusion and compares the characteristics between the 1st and 2nd molar regions. Fifty-six normal young adults were divided into two groups according to balancing-side contact: a disclusion group consisting of 40 subjects (80 excursions), and a non-disclusion group consisting of 16 subjects (20 excursions). Lateral excursions were measured in six-degrees of freedom, and the inclinations of the frontal paths were calculated on the working-side canine, balancing-side 1st and 2nd molars and balancing-side condylar point. The cusp angle was measured using a three-dimensional digitizer. While there were no differences between disclusion and non-disclusion groups in the inclination of the balancing-side condylar path, significant differences were found in the cusp angle and the inclination of the working-side canine path. In the non-disclusion group, the cusp angle of the 2nd molar was markedly greater than that of the 1st molar. It was concluded that the inclination of the anterior guidance and the cusp angle of related teeth have a great effect on the occurrence of balancing-side disclusion and that the mechanism of high frequent balancing-side contacts at the 2nd molar was characterized by its greater cusp angle compared to the 1st molar.
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