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ARTICULATORS

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Articulator is defined as a mechanical instrument that represents the temporomandibular joints and jaws, to which maxillary and mandibular casts may be attached to simulate some or all mandibular movements . GPT The act of putting together with a joint or joints; any meeting of parts in a joint. A fixed or movable joint between bones. The act of vocal expression; utterance or enunciation.

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SINCE AS early as the 1860s, dental scientists and inventors investigated the nature of mandibular movement for the purpose of reproducing these movements in an articulator. From the inspired to the near-genius and from the ridiculous to the sublime, these articulators simply reflected what was perceived to be the anatomic and kinesthetic characteristics of mandibular movement. There were two schools at that time whose main purpose was to understand and design an Articulator: 1. The Condylar (or Anatomic) School of Articulator Design 2. The Geometric (or Non-anatomic) School of Articulator Design

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George S. Monson, DDS (18691933)

Alfred Gysi

Ferdinand Graf von Spee (1855-1937)


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George Monson demonstrated his spherical theory for the first time on this Bonwill articulator. The casts were mounted in the articulator according to Bonwills equilateral triangle and with the spherical occlusion guide.

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Christensens Rational articulator with plaster casts and wax occlusion rims mounted in the centric position. The plaster blocks, mounted for the simulated functional generated path procedure, would look similar to this.
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(A) Christensens Rational articulator with the condylar guides set at a high inclination. The maxillary and mandibular plaster blocks have been manually ground in and the surfaces have obtained spherical shapes. (Reprinted from Christensen.12)

(B) Vulcanite rubber stints with wax occlusion rims on casts of badly worn natural teeth. The spherical contours of the rims were formed as a result of the subject moving his mandible freely and as far as capable while maintaining contact of the rims with moderate pressure.

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Monsons Mandibulo-Maxillary instrument. Point A is the radial center of the instrument from which the occlusal surfaces of the teeth are determined. Point B is the position of the condylar hinge mechanism for the instrument. The teeth are arranged to conform to the 8-inch sphere at C. Slot D controls anteroposterior movement. The slot is concentric with the outer surface of the sphere. Jackscrews E are used to adjust the position of the lower cast to the center if required. This instrument was manufactured by M.F. Patterson Supply Co., St Paul, MN. (Reprinted from Campbell.21)
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To hold the maxillary and mandibular casts in a determined fixed relationship. To stimulate the jaw movements like opening and closing. To produce border movements (extreme lateral and protrusive) and intraborder movement(within the border movement) of the teeth similar to those in the mouths

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To diagnose the state of occlusion in both the natural and artificial dentitions. To plan the dental procedures based on the relationship between opposing natural and artificial teeth. E.g. : evaluation of the possibility of balanced occlusion To aid in the fabrication of restorations and prosthodontic replacements To correct and modify completed restorations To arrange artificial teeth

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Minimal Requirements : It should hold the casts in the correct horizontal and vertical relationship. The cast should be easily removable and re-attachable. It should provide a positive anterior vertical stop (Incisal Pin) It should accept face-bow transfer record using an anterior reference point

It should open and close in a hinge movement


It should be made of a non corrosive and rigid materials that resist wear and tear. It should not be bulky or hay There should be adequate space present between the upper and lower members The moving parts should move freely without any friction The non-moving parts should be of a rigid construction.

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Additional Requirements:
The condylar guides should allow protrusive and lateral jaw motion The condylar guide should be adjustable in a horizontal direction

The articulator should be adjustable to accept and alter the Bennett movement
The Incisal guide table should be customizable (allow modification)

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Properly mounted casts allow the operator to visualize the patients occlusion
especially from the lingual view. Patient co-operation is not a factor when using an articulator once the appropriate inter-occlusal records are obtained from the patient. The refinement of complete denture occlusion in the mouth is extremely difficult because of shifting denture bases and resiliency of the supporting tissues. The difficulty is eliminated when articulators are used

Reduced chair time patients appointment time


The patients saliva tongue and cheeks are not factors when using an articulator.

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An articulator may be made of metal or plastic. Metal articulators show errors in tooling(manufacture) or errors resulting from metal fatigue. The articulator may not exactly simulate the intra-border and functional movements of the mandible Errors in the jaw relation procedures are reproduced as errors in the denture occlusion. Articulator do not have any provision to indicate or correct these errors

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BASED ON THEORIES OF OCCLUSION

BASED ON TYPE OF INTEROCCLUSAL RECORDS

BASED ON THE ADJUSTABILITY OF THE ARTICUALTOR

BASED ON THE ABILITY TO SIMULATE THE MOVEMENTS

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1. Bonwill theory articulator


This articulator was designed by WGA Bonwill. According to this theory the teeth move in relation to each other as guided by the condylar and the Incisal guidance. Also known an Theory of equilateral triangle whose dimension is 4 inches. Bonwill articulators allow lateral movement and permit the movement of

the mechanism (joint) only in the horizontal plane.

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2. Conical theory articulators


Proposed by R E Hall The conical theory of occlusion proposed that the lower teeth move over the surfaces of the upper teeth as over the surface of the cone generating an angle of 45 with the central axis of the cone tipped 45 to the occlusal plane. The Hall Articulator follows this theory.

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3. Spherical theory articulators


The spherical theory of occlusion proposed that the lower teeth move over the surface of upper teeth as over the surface of sphere with a diameter of 8 inches. The centre of the sphere was located in the region of the glabella. The surface of the sphere passed through the glenoid fossa and along with the articulating eminences. The articulator devised by G S Monson operated on this theory

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Dr. Monson making measurements on a human mandible to demonstrate that from the 4-inch common center, the divider touches the Incisal edges and the condyles.

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A frontal view of the mandible illustrating the relationship of the 8-inchdiameter sphere with the transverse plane of occlusion that Monson claimed must be the same as the anteroposterior plane for balanced occlusion to be achieved. The radial lines of force of 4-inch length converge forming the radial point at the apex from which the radius of occlusion of each tooth is determined. (Reprinted from Monson.20)
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A posterior view of the mandible, illustrating the application of the radial lines to the condyles. The center of the condyles are shown conforming to the surface of the sphere, giving the same radial dimensions from the centers of the condyles to the apex as from the occlusal surfaces of the teeth. This also illustrates Monsons concept that this radial center is the center for the entire muscular action because the angles of the mandible conform to lines centering at apex A. (Reprinted from Monson.20)
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Articulators are based on theoretical concepts There is no provision for variation from the theoretical relationships that occur in

different planes

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They are classified as: 1. Inter-occlusal record adjustment : made of Base plate wax ;plaster of paris; zinc oxide eugenol paste or cold cure acrylic 2. Graphic record adjustment: Use of a Transgraphic record; the Face-bow and Jaw-writing apparatus

Transographic Jaw Recorder and Duplicator

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Class I

: Hinge Type - ( Slab articulator,


Hinge joint articulator GARIOT (1805), Barn door articulator )

Class II : Arbitrary type A (Mean-Value articulator - GYSI) type B (Monsons articulator , Hall articulator) type C (Houses articulator ) Class III : Average - type A (Hanau H articulator- RUDOLPH HANAU (1923)
Hanau H2 articulator Bergstrom articulator (ARCON) )

type B (Stansberrys Tripod - Stansberry


Ney articulator - De Pietro (1960) Tele Dyne articulator - Richard Beu (1975) )

Class Iv : Special type A (TMJ articulator Kenneth Swanson (1965) ) type B (Pantronic acticulator Dener (1982)
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Gnathoscope - Charles Stuart )

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Classified into 3 types : 1. Non Adjustable (Mean Value ) 2. Semi Adjustable : It is further classified into 2 types - Arcon Type (Whip mix) Non arcon Type (Hanau H) 3. Fully Adjustable (TMJ)

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Also called as Three Point Articulator or Free Plane Articulator These instruments are routinely used in dental colleges to teach undergraduate students. These instruments are nonadjustable, non arcon type, designed using fixed dimensions. A spring is mounted within the condylar track to stabilize the condylar elements and hold them in their posterior most position . The articulator is designed using fixed dimensions. The Mean Values are: a) Fixed Condyles with radius of 19mm. b) Mean Condylar Inclination : 35 c) Bennett angle adjustment : 0-20

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1. Upper member 2. Lower member

3. Vertical rod
4. Incisal pin 5. Incisal guidance table

6. Sighting rod
7. Horizontal bar/rod

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One should not used too complex instruments for a simple case or too simple articulator for a complex case The following factors pertinent to the understanding and selections : 1. Articulator movements of the condylar elements do not reproduced condylar movement in the temporomandibular joint.

2. The goals of articulation is to duplicate tooth movements along border path ways in at least two planes of space.
3. The most important requirement of an articulator are to maintain centric relation & the vertical dimension of occlusion.

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4. . Fixed condylar elements at 110mm are all that is necessary. An adjustable inter condylar capability may permit more records to be accepted. 5. The articulator should be able to receive a face-bow transfer record,. 6. The articulator should have the capability of adjustment for precurrent or immediate side shift upto at least 2.5 mm. 7. An adjustable mechanical Incisal guide table can not reproduce the natural guidance of the anterior teeth. 8. A sterograph ( pantograph) has limited value for all but a few types of prosthodontic situation. 9. The sophistication of articulators should not exceed the level of training & ability of the personnel that will be fabricating the restorations.

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Maxillary cast is attached to the articulator using the orientation jaw relation record. Procedure of transferring the orientation jaw relation to the articulator is called face-bow transfer. The ear piece of the face bow is attached to the rollpin of the articulator This transfers the posterior reference point of the face-bow to the articulator The anterior reference point should be positioned by making the orbital indicator contact the orbital pointer of the face-bow. A pivot stand attached to the lower member of the articulator also helps to prevent vertical displacement of the occlusal rim during articulation.
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Tighten the centric lock on each enclosed condylar track mechanism to ensure that the articulator is capable of nothing but a hinge opening. Invert the articulator on the bench top resting it on the three thumb nuts protruding from the upper member of the articulator. Place the centric relation interocclusal wax record on the teeth of maxillary cast. Be sure that the teeth seat completely into wax record.

Place the mandibular cast into interocclusal record. There should be no contact between the maxillary and mandibular cast.
Remove the mandibular cast and soak it for about 2 minute in slurry water. Reseat the soaked mandibular cast into the record and mount it by plaster/stone.
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The condyle is in the retruded position in its condylar track mechanism. Both casts are seated completely in the interocclusal wax record.

Mounting stone is securely attached to both casts and mounting plates.

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The choice of articulator depends upon such factors as : (a) intended use, (b) availability of equipment, (c) patient's occlusion, (d) skill of the technician, (e) skill of the operator, (f) expense No existing articulator will reproduce all mandibular movements exactly, nor is this its primary objective. The goal is to make restoration with occlusal morphology compatible with the movements of mandible. The more closely the articulator matches the patients anatomy, usually the better the outcome and the less adjustment is required at chair-side on fitting prostheses. The late Carl O. Boucher summed up the articulator controversy by stating, It must be recognized that the person operating the instrument is more important than the instrument. If dentists understand articulators and their deficiencies, they can compensate for their inherent inadequacies.
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Denar Articulator

TMJ Articulator

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Hanau Wide Vue 2

Artex Mean Value

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Whipmix Articulator

Hanau H2 Articulator

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Kathmandu University Medical Journal (2008), Vol. 6, No. 1, Issue 21, Deepak Nallaswamy the text book of Prosthodontics,first edition. Journal of Prosthodontics, Vol. 11, No 2 ( June), 2002: pp 134-146 Archive of University of Texas Charles M. Heartwell the syllabus of complete denture, fourth edition. Sheldon Winkler- the essential of complete denture prosthodontics,second edition.

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Gysis Mean Value

Houses Articulator

Monsons Articulator
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Halls Articulator
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Hanau H2 Articulator

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Neys Articulator

Hanaus Teledyne Articulator

Stansberrys Tripod Articulator


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TMJ Articulator

Gnathoscope
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Hinge Joint Articulator

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