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J Prosthet Dent. 1999 Aug;82(2):237-41.

Face-bow record without a third point of reference: theoretical considerations and an alternative technique.

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  • 1Eastman Dental Center, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14620, USA. carlo_ercoli@urmc.rochester.edu


Accurate mounting of dental casts is achieved by transferring the tridimensional spatial relationship of the maxillary arch to an articulator. A face-bow is used to transfer this relationship to the articulator, usually by relating the face-bow to a plane of reference. The most common reference plane is the Frankfort plane, which has been assumed to be horizontal when the patient is in the natural head position. The axis-orbitale plane has also been considered horizontal and used as reference. However, it has been shown that both planes are not horizontal, and mounting a maxillary cast according to these planes can result in an inaccurate mounting. This article describes an alternative procedure for face-bow transfer without a plane of reference, and uses the angular relationship between the occlusal plane and the condylar path to mount the maxillary cast on the articulator. The elimination of a reference plane, to which relate the functional determinants of occlusion, avoids an additional source of error during the mounting procedure.

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