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How to Know If Your Models are Mounted Correctly in Centric Relation

So one of the first things that is helpful is, of course, we want to check the point of initial contact in the mouth when we do our complete exam. And you might even want to go as far as, when you mark your point of initial contact with articulating paper to take an intraoral photo of it. And then when you have mounted your models, you want to go back to your models and the point of initial contact on the models should match the point of initial contact in the mouth.

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Dental Models Mounted in Centric RelationOccasionally, you will have the point of initial contact on the models be slightly distal to what you found in the mouth because often times you will note in your exam that one of the molars has a little bit of mobility. So the tooth might not mark with the articulating paper when you are doing your exam; but when it is in a solid model, then your point of initial contact may show up slightly distal to where it is in your exam.

If the contact is anterior to the tooth that you noted in the exam, then I would be a little bit concerned that you did not have the joint seated completely when you took your centric relation bite record and want to go back to the mouth and try that again.

Another thing that is helpful is if you have an articulator with the magnetic mounting plates, you can remove the magnet from the upper member of the articulator and hold your mounted models firmly into your bite record so you can see your wax tooth contact, and when you close the articulator without the magnet, it should go right into the grooves on the mounting plate on the upper model without any spaces or gaps. And that helps you know that you have mounted the models correctly with the bite record that you took in the mouth.

So those are a couple of quick tips to help you determine if your mounting is correct or incorrect.

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Picture of Dr. Angie Gribble-Hedlund

Dr. Angela Gribble Hedlund is an associate faculty member. She has practiced dentistry in Atlanta since 1994 and lectures on esthetic dentistry. 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.