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Quick Tip: Using the T-Scan for Equilibrations

Some of you already have the T-Scan in your practice from Tekscan. It's a computerized bite sensor that you can use in initial exams to show patients some of their malocclusion. And one of my favorite uses in our practice is to use it as part of our equilibration.

We complete the equilibration the same way that we teach you in the hands-on courses at The Academy. We go through the entire equilibration using our bimanual manipulation with our assistant holding the articulating paper. And as we get to the end of our equilibration, the T-Scan has been a fantastic tool for us to really take the equilibration to the next level.

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T-Scan Pre-Treatment scan

You use it the same way that you do the articulating paper. As the operator, you're still going to be using your bimanual manipulation on the patient. And your dental assistant will hold the handle and the bite sensor for the T-Scan and place that in the patient's mouth. And we will then record what tooth is coming into contact first. It records the timing as well as the intensity of the contacts in the mouth.

So we use that, and it really shines a spotlight on the place in the mouth where we may have an articulating paper mark but it's not clear just from the articulating paper that a particular contact may be a little premature or may be a little more intense than the contacts on the adjacent teeth. So it's a great way to shine a spotlight on exactly where you need to really fine-tune that equilibration to the highest level that you can.

And one of the most handy things that I've noticed, one of the most valuable aspects of T-Scan, is its use with implants.

You can mark in the computer when you're entering the patient which teeth are implants, which teeth are abutments, and several other different things like missing teeth.

We want the timing of the implant occlusal contact to be slightly after the timing of natural teeth since implants don't have a periodontal ligament. And the T-Scan is a great way to determine that - because that's obviously something we can't determine with articulating paper - the timing of the contact.

So when you have an implant contact that's coming in a little too early, you'll get a little red stop sign that will show you on the screen. And it gives you a warning that that timing on the implant on the occlusal contact is a little too soon. So we can go in and refine that contact until we finish the equilibration and we don't have any red stop signs on any of our implants.

I think that's been one of the many valuable things about using the T-Scan for equilibrations in our practice. I hope this has been helpful for you today.

How to Schedule an Occlusal Equilibration Appointment

Dr. Angela Gribble Hedlund completed her undergraduate training at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree. She received her DMD from the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry in Augusta Georgia, and has completed an ADA-accredited program in Advanced General Dentistry at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Hedlund practiced with Goldstein, Garber, & Salama for 16 years, and have recently opened a private practice in North Atlanta. She has practiced dentistry in Atlanta since 1994. Dr. Hedlund has also received extensive training in esthetic dentistry. She has received her certificate in the Postgraduate Program in Esthetic Dentistry from Baylor, as well as completing the Comprehensive Esthetic Restorative Continuum at the same institution. During her postgraduate studies at the Medical College of Georgia, she was awarded the Goldstein Esthetic Dentistry Award, presented yearly to a senior student who has shown exceptional interest and talent in the area of esthetic dentistry. She is an active member in the Georgia Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry where she is currently an accreditation candidate. Dr. Hedlund is an active contributor to organized dentistry. This began when she served as the first female president of an MCG dental class, and a representative to the American Student Dental Association executive council. She is currently a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association, the Hinman Dental Society, and the Academy of General Dentistry, where she has completed over 1,500 hours of continuing education in dental studies. She has received her Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry; this is an honor held by fewer than 2% of dentists in the country. In July 2006 she became one of the youngest women ever to receive Mastership in this Academy. Dr. Gribble also is on the dental advisory council for the Christian Medical Dental Assocation. Dr. Gribble has published articles in the Journal of Esthetic Dentistry and the Journal of the American Dental Association. She has served as a contributing editor to the Dental Study Club Journal, which contains reviews from leading clinicians on articles from over seventy-five international dental journals. She also lectures on the subjects of restorative and esthetic dentistry. Dr. Gribble paid for a large portion of her education and received lots of “smile practice” in the Miss America Scholarship programs. She was 2nd runner-up in Miss Augusta in 1991, and 2nd runner-up in Tennessee’s America Junior Miss Pageant in 1985. Dr. Angie Gribble Hedlund enjoys singing, scrapbooking, and is a master scuba diver. She is an active member of the Atlanta Women’s Medical Alliance and Bible Study Fellowship where she serves as the Substitute Teaching Leader for the Norcross Women’s class. She and her husband Richard are members of Roswell United Methodist Church. They volunteer regularly with the children’s program there with their 2 daughters Tori and Lexi.