Selecting the Tooth Size

Your occlusion rim occupies the space of the teeth. Take off your maxillary recording base and close the articulator. There is a space between the maxillary cast and the mandibular occlusion rim. You have to fill that space. You can set some teeth directly on the cast with utility wax and see what fits. Sometimes I used to set central, lateral, canine of one size and set another size on the other side of the midline to see what suited me.

The occluso-gingival dimension is the small, medium, or large (S,M,L) on the card. There is also an extra-small (XS). Use whatever fits.

In Verident we have such numbers as 39, 42, 45, 48. The numbers refer to the mesio-distal diameter of the maxillary six anteriors in millimeters. The larger the number the larger the anteriors. To get the matching mandibular anteriors use the same number and letter. If you want to match the teeth of an old set of dentures compare your selection to the width of the maxillary central of the denture (or measure the six maxillary anteriors).

So for all the teeth except the maxillary anteriors consider this number to be a mold designation. So you might order a M45 or an S42.

I randomly measured the mesio-distal width of six sets of posterior teeth designated:

Maxillary Mandibular

Apparently the mandibular teeth in the same mold are longer mesio-distally than the maxillary. Using one mold number for all the teeth will make setting the teeth easier.

Your instructor will help you.

When you are handed the teeth, check to see if they are what you requested. The clerks are very experienced but they can be tired and make mistakes.

You know you are doing an upper and a lower but the clerk gave you two sets of lower posterior teeth. They gave you two different shades. They gave you flat teeth and you wanted cusped.

Whatever teeth you get, try them in before any grinding to see if you are in the ballpark. "I think I ground the teeth too much" is a pretty hopeless situation for everybody.

In your private practice you will have a complete set of molds of some manufacturers. Then you can set a few maxillary anterior teeth while the patient is sitting in your office. When you send your case to the lab your technician will know exactly what size and where you want the teeth placed. The midline and the plane of occlusion will be correct. (The lab will of course return your teeth.)

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©1999 by Julius Rosen, D.D.S.