Monday, May 19, 2014

Welcome to Your Summer

Prostodontics: Equlibrate & Mount 
I couldn't call this a true dental student blog unless I talked about dentistry so I want to share what I have been doing lately. Last week, we started our dental Prostodontics laboratory module. We are still working in our operative module (drillin' & fillin'), but prostodontics will dominate our schedules for the next few months. So it's fitting that the first thing our instructor said to us was "welcome to your summer". So what is prostodontics? It essentially focuses on restoring and replacing teeth and encompasses some complicated procedures in dentistry such as dentures and crowns.

Our first task was to equilibrate our typodonts in order to create stable contact between the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth. Basically, we wanted to create the ideal occlusion before moving forward. We used articulating paper to check the simulated bite and then used a football-shaped bur to grind down high contacts. All the red dots represent exactly where the upper and lower teeth should come into contact when the patient is biting down. My goal, was to create this schematic on my typodont.


Carbide #7406 Football Bur 

Once, I got that checked off I needed to create a model of the teeth. I took alginate impressions on the maxillary and mandibular teeth, and then poured microstone into the impressions to make a model. Once the models were finished I added more microstone to create a base. Then I ground down the cast to get rid of any excess stone.

Alginate Impressions 


Grinding the completed cast/model to smooth & shape
The next and final step for this project was to mount the completed model on an articular, which is a device that will function to simulate actual jaw movements. Once the mounting was done, I used the grinding machine and sandpaper to make it smooth and pretty. It felt like being in a shop class.

Maxillary cast mounted using a universal mounting plate
You can see the difference that my sanding made in the mounting stone (white) between the picture above and below. 

Complete Cast mounted on an Articulator 

Fourteen hours later, my equilibration and mounting was complete and I was grateful that it didn't take longer. This is a rolling project for us, meaning that there are deadlines along the way but they aren't uber strict. However, if you fall too far behind the "ideal" completion dates, you will lose points and be playing catch-up all summer. I had to come in before class, stay after class, and work through lunches to get this completed by the ideal deadline. All that for our first project. This is going to be an interesting summer.

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