Ever wonder how Denturists get your denture to function properly? They use the right tools for the job. And when the job is making sure your teeth will bite together correctly, the tool to reach for is a dental articulator.
A dental articulator is a mechanical device that simulates jaw function. During your denture’s construction, an articulator serves as your temporomandibular joint (the joint between your skull and your jaw), holding models of teeth in the same alignment as your jaw and allowing Denturists to record positions of your upper (maxillary) and lower (mandibular) teeth.
Different types of articulators have been developed for Denturists to use. Here is a brief description of each type and some reasons why (or why not) we choose to use them at Kelowna Denture Clinic.
Single-hinge: articulator starting point
Pictured on the left is a single hinge articulator. It operates like a hinge on a door with only one plane of movement. As you might expect, with almost nothing to adjust, this type of articulator produces a one-bite-for-all kind of result. This type of articulator was in use in the early 1900s, then phased out as more sophisticated instruments were developed.
Semi-adjustable: better but average
Pictured on the right is a semi-adjustable articulator. It functions more like a human jaw, with several planes of movement. It makes use of the law of averages for measurements of the human skull, and so the results will work for a wider range of “average” patients. Most Denturists use this type of articulator to record patient information.
Facebow and pin tracer: individualized and optimized
As many patients’ jaws function outside of the law of averages, we offer a third articulator option: the addition of a facebow and pin tracer to a semi-adjustable articulator. These specialized instruments allow us to take precise measurements of your specific skull and jaw function and the position of your individualized bite, which helps us ensure an accurate bite relationship in your final denture. At Kelowna Denture Clinic, we include facebow and pin tracing measurements for all of our Precision-Equilibrated denture cases.
Now you know!