What are Dental Articulators

Definition of Dental Articulator:
A mechanical device which represents the temporomandibular joint and the jaw members to which maxillary and mandibular casts may be attached to simulate jaw movements.

Dental Articulator definition, uses, ideal requirements, advantages

Uses of Dental Articulators:

  1. To hold opposing casts in a predetermined fixed relationship.
  2. To open and close
  3. To produce border intraborder diagnostic sliding motions
  4. To diagnose dental occlusal conditions in both natural and artificial dentition’s
  5. To plan dental procedures that involve positions ,contours and relationships of both natural and artificial teeth as they relate to each other.
  6. To aid fabrication of dental restoration and the lost dental parts.
  7. To correct and modify completed dental restorations.
  8. Helpful in teaching and studying of occlusion and mandibular movements.

Ideal Requirements of Dental Articulators:

  1. It should hold casts in correct horizontal and vertical relationships.
  2. It should provide a positive anterior vertical stop (incisal pin).
  3. It should accept a face bow transfer record.
  4. It should open and close in a hinge movement.
  5. It should allow protrusive and lateral motion.
  6. The moving parts should move freely and be accurately machined.
  7. The non-moving parts should be a rigid construction.

Additional Requirements of Dental Articulators:

  1. Adjustable horizontal and lateral condylar guide elements.
  2. The condylar elements as a part of lower frame and condylar guides as a part of upper frame.
  3. A mechanism to accept a third reference point from a face bow transfer record.
  4. A terminal hinge motion locking device.
  5. Removable mounting plates that can be repositioned accurately.
  6. An adjustable incisal guide table.
  7. Adjustable intercondylar width of condylar elements, when graphic tracing to be used to set and / or select condylar guidance.

Advantages of Dental Articulators:

  1. Properly mounted casts allow the operator to visualize the patients occlusion especially from lingual view.
  2. Patient co-operation is not a factor when using an articulator once the appropriate interocclusal records are obtained from patient.
  3. The refinement of complete denture occlusion in mouth is extremely difficult because of shifting denture bases and resiliency of supporting tissues .This difficulty is eliminated when articulators are used.
  4. Reduced chair time ,patients appointment time.
  5. The patients saliva , tongue and cheeks are not factors when using an articulator.

Limitations of Dental Articulators:

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



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