An articulator is a mechanical device used in dentistry which represents the anatomy of temporomandibular joint (the joint connecting lower jaw to the skull), upper jaw and lower jaw of patient to which upper teeth cast and lower teeth cast are fixed to the articulator in order to reproduce patient’s jaw movements.
By nature, the purpose of these articulators can only be achieved when the position of the maxilla is duplicated with respect to the skull. The upper teeth cast should be mounted on a semi-adjustable articulator using a face bow. The closer the articulator matches the patient’s anatomy, the better the treatment outcome will be, hence shorter dental treatment time is required.
It is a complex articulator which almost imitates the anatomy of the temporomandibular joint and follows the movement of your lower jaw. Therefore, it can be used in the fabrication of complex crowns, long span bridges and full mouth rehabilitation. This articulator is also used for jaw surgery (orthognathic) planning.
Semi-adjustable articulator is adjustable in certain areas but not all. They have adjustable horizontal condylar paths, adjustable lateral condylar paths, adjustable incisal guide tables, and adjustable intercondylar distances. Nevertheless, this articulator is adequate for most of the cases.
Uses of articulators
Educate to patient their jaw relation
Reproduce patient’s jaw movement like opening and closing of mouth
To diagnosis the state of patient’s occlusion
To help in treatment planning
To help in fabrication and modifying of dental restoration (dental crown and bridge)
To obtain good occlusion for dental restoration
For jaw surgery planning
Allows teeth arrangement for denture
Advantages of articulator
Dentist allows to adjust patient’s dental restoration on the articulator (outside patient’s mouth) without the disturbance of patient’s tongue, cheek, and saliva.
Reduce dental visits and treatment time because articulator helps to resemble patient’s jaw relation.
Adjustment and correction of dental restoration can be done in the absence of patient
With the help of articulator, your dentist allows to visualize the inner side of your teeth easily