The Dawson Academy Blog

Dental Articles on Occlusion, Centric Relation, Restorative Dentistry & More

Return to Blog Index

14 Tools & Materials for Accurate Exams & Records

Facebow registrationTaking accurate patient examinations and records are crucial to developing a treatment plan and therefore delivering predictable results. There are many tools that can help make this task easier and more accurate.

 Here is our go-to list of 14 tools and materials needed for patients examinations & records:

  1. Digital Camera

    Using a digital camera not only allows us to take accurate before & after photos, it allows us to easily show our patients what is going on in their mouth.
  2. Mirrors & Retractors

    Mirrors and retractors are important when taking your patients’ before & after photos. These tools allow you to get a better shot of your patient’s mouth.
  3. The Dawson Academy ‘Full Series’ Photo Guide

    This guide shows you exactly what photos you should be taking and what camera settings you should be using for each.
  4. Facebow

    The Facebow relates the upper arch to the condylar axis, which is then ‘transferred' accurately to the upper cast on the articulator. Without this facebow transfer, the arc of closure will be different on the articulator than it is on the patient. We recommend the Slidematic ear bow with 3 transfer jig assemblies.
  5. Range of Motion Scale

    The mandibular motion evaluation provided by this disposable scale can be used to better diagnose, treatment plan, and measure the progress of treatment on patients.
  6. Doppler

    The Doppler is an easy and effective adjunctive screening tool for TMJ health. The sounds give us an indication of the amount of friction and quality of lubrication within the joint.
  7. Lucia Jig

    The lucia jig is an anterior deprogramming device. This device creates a small contact point for the incisors to meet, while disengaging all of the posterior teeth.  In not allowing the posterior teeth to contact, the hyper-functioning lateral pterygoid muscles will relax, the elevator muscles activity will decrease which allows the TMJ to seat in centric relation.
  8. Articulator

    The articulator and proper instrumentation use can increase your predictability, which will yield better results in your practice. 
  9. Wax

    Obtaining an accurate bite record that will allow a precise mounting is crucial for treatment planning.  Many products exist that are very accurate, yet they do not easily allow a precise mounting.  Such is the case with many PVS bite records. The Dawson Academy prefers the “blue (Denar*) wax.”
  10. Scissors/Knife

    You will need scissors and/or a knife when taking wax bite records.
  11. Butane Torch       

    You will also need a butane torch when taking wax bite records.
  12. Mounting Stone

    Failing to plan is planning to fail. Without models, you will not be able to create a proper (let alone predictable) treatment plan.
  13. Articulating Ribbon

    Ideally, a bite should be hitting all teeth at the same time with equal pressure. Articulating ribbon allows us to see where your patient’s first point(s) of contact is.
  14. Forceps

    Articulating Ribbon goes hand-in-hand with forceps. We use forceps to hold the articulating ribbon.

To see where you can get each of these materials and tools, you can view our materials & equipment list.

When to Use an Anterior Deprogramming Device