Challenge your habitual thinking and ask pointed questions:
- Is there a difference between two ink marks on the same tooth?
- Does saliva wash off or change articulating paper marks?
- Do you think that marks on gold, porcelain, ceramics, and natural teeth conduct force in the same way?
- If you decrease the load on any single tooth, where do you place the extra force?
- Is an abfraction a phenomenon created by a toothbrush?
- Do you think that TM joints are an important health factor in occlusion?
- Would you like to know the intensity and sequence of contacts in addition to their location?
- Would you prefer to see a full arch of contacts instead of seeing just a quadrant at a time?
You get the idea! Empower yourself by embracing digital technology. Imagine bringing to life every contact in an entire arch with digitally-recorded 3D movies of mandibular engagement, MIP, and release. Force distribution cycles translate static paper marks into dynamic patterns. You might say that force scans make articulating paper “smart.”
Ask yourself: “Is it possible for me to think beyond habitual thought patterns in order to shatter the prevailing mindset?”
Those in the field of dental reconstruction must have and cultivate the creative mind of the artist and the accuracy of the engineer.
DMD or DDS are very expensive letters to tag at the end of a name! They represent an enormous investment of talent, time, effort, and… money! Suggesting to invest any more at this point seems outrageous, yet it is crucial. Time spent defining or refining your views on occlusion is time well invested since occlusal force is to be reckoned with: unmanaged, it can destroy the best restorative work; well-managed, it will ensure its longevity.
Master dentists of the past created change with the technologies available to them, defining today’s standard of care. Their occlusal thinking was ahead of their technology while today’s technology seems to be ahead of our occlusal thinking. However, computerized occlusal analysis systems provide the empirical evidence that test the hypotheses developed by those ‘pioneers’ and validate their concepts by recording occlusal force in action.
Force scans are impartial. They measure and organize force; they provide information for dentists to analyze. Force scans do not purport to replace articulating paper, facebows, diagnostic casts, study models, or splints. They are the latest adjunct to the diagnostic arsenal available. Force scans answer questions such as what, where, when, leaving dentists to ponder the how, and the why raised by any occlusion.
The challenge resides in learning how to interpret the computer-generated data. This website features a gallery of cases where you can start training your eyes to “see” and familiarize yourself with the occlusal concepts involved. Digital photography and force scan movies—basic tools of Digital Occlusion—generate the empirical data which will allow us to corroborate or disprove the validity of occlusal concepts.
It is quite possible to become proficient in interpreting force scans in a relatively short time. Developing this new skill is mentally stimulating and professionally satisfying. Ultimately, the time invested will prove to have been well worth it, both for your patients and for your practice.