By Dr. Mike Smith
Chasing dots on teeth to finish occlusion is supremely frustrating. What do the dots mean? What are they telling me? This technique finally made finishing occlusion more predictable. This technique works on all opposing materials: ceramic to tooth, gold to ceramic or enamel to enamel.
You first mark teeth with a 200 micron ink stained paper (mfg Bausch). These leave big stamps stamps on teeth and indicates centric stops, where everything holds. The fine paper is a 40 micron that you mark on top of the 200 micron stamps. This shows clear sharp and high intensity problems like contact on inclines and slopes or protrusive interference. You now have a clear indication of what to adjust with your bur. A light touch is the key and re-marking as need with the fine paper will allow you to see where the occlusal scheme is going.
I’m fortunate in that I have a TScan in my practice which allows me to verify electronically the amount of force those marks represent. While this is an extremely effective diagnostic tool in finishing the occlusion and one I highly recommend, the 2 paper technique is a super way to create a visual map for case finishing.
For more details on occlusal schemes and case finishing, check out the hands on opportunities with Clinical Mastery Occlusion Series www.ClinicalMastery.com.