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How to Decrease Dental Restorative Remakes

Lori Gottschlich, Whip MixBy Lori Gottschlich, Whip Mix

Do you have 90 seconds to spare? In just 90 seconds you can decrease chair time, have less remakes, minimize occlusal adjustments and increase your production at the same time! A face-bow record can be one of the most simple but invaluable records you take in your practice.

For those of you using a face-bow with your restorative cases, I am sure you already see the value in this record; hopefully you have delegated this procedure to one of your skilled dental auxiliary team members. For those of you not using a face-bow I hope to inspire you to at least consider using one for your more advanced cases.

As I travel to dental schools I hear a few common phrases. One of the most common ones I hear from coast to coast is “they never taught us how to do that”. Now I know that statement is not entirely true but the truth in that statement is that there is never really enough time spent on occlusion during dental school.  Often there is too much time lapse in-between being taught the sequences in which the principals of occlusion and their relationship to a face-bow registration. The information and techniques tend to get lost in the cracks.

With an emphasis on esthetic dentistry today, now more than ever, it is important to be able to provide the dental laboratory with as much patient information as possible. This mission becomes critical in those cases where you are changing the esthetics of the anterior teeth or altering the vertical dimension.

The decisiWhipMix Facebowon you make to use a traditional face-bow/ear-bow versus using an esthetic plane reference, similar to a fox plane can be very much like that in choosing an articulator. We need to realize that when using an esthetic plane registration, you are using anatomical averages, which in some cases will be fine. But, for those larger restorative cases you really should use an anatomical face-bow/ear-bow. An anatomical face-bow/ear-bow record establishes the relationship of the maxillary dentition to the horizontal reference plane so that the maxillary cast can be mounted on the articulator in the correct anatomical position. And if that is not enough, studies show that most face-bows on the market can place you within 5mm of the true hinge axis.

What it all boils down to is, the closer you can record the patient’s true anatomical plane of occlusion, the more accurate your final occlusion and esthetic result will be, which ultimately ties into your production.

In closing just remember who we are really doing all of this for…we benefit from our patients’ satisfactions. Let a 90-second face-bow record improve your esthetic outcome, save time in your chair, and make your patients’ love you for their smile!