Precision and Reliability of the T-Scan III System: Analyzing Occlusion and the Resultant Timing and Distribution of Forces in the Dental Arch

Precision and Reliability of the T-Scan III System: Analyzing Occlusion and the Resultant Timing and Distribution of Forces in the Dental Arch

Bernd Koos (University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0571-6.ch035


Precise analysis of occlusal contacts and occlusal force is a problem in functional diagnostics that has not yet been satisfactorily resolved, despite the fact that the deleterious consequences of an unbalanced occlusion are widespread and can be severe. In clinical practice, the present-day analysis of the occlusion is reduced to depicting force with color-marking foils that leave ink marks upon the teeth. However, these foils only indicate the localization of contacts, but do not describe reliably the occlusal force relationships. Precise analysis that incorporates time resolution and plots the distribution of forces within the occlusion is not possible when employing the traditional occlusal indicator methods. A detailed occlusal force and timing analysis can only be provided by performing a computer-assisted analysis, using the T-Scan III system (Tekscan, Inc. S. Boston, MA, USA), which records changing relative occlusal force levels and real-time occlusal contact sequence data with High Definition (HD) recording sensors. This chapter demonstrates the accuracy and reliability of this computer-based occlusal measurement method that reliably describes the time-dependent distribution of occlusal force evolution.
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A smooth and functional occlusion is basic and central to all sub-disciplines of dentistry, including orthodontics (Andrews, 1972). In conservative restorative dentistry, the presence of a harmonious and smooth occlusion is considered essential to the physiological function of the Stomatognathic system, and is deemed essential to protect against excessive loading and fracture of inserted restorations and dental implants. In orthodontics, harmonious occlusal relationships are required to ensure the stability of achieved treatment outcomes. It is a vital element of therapeutic dentistry to accurately and realistically record and analyze the occlusal relationships of examined patients, by the use of occlusal indicators (foils, papers, silk ribbon) or instrumental occlusal diagnostics. This chapter will focus mainly on the reproducibility and reliability of methods. What follows is an analytical presentation of the temporal sequence of occlusal force buildup that can be observed with the T-Scan III occlusal analysis system (Tekscan, Inc. S. Boston, MA USA). This topic will be discussed against the background of the available literature regarding the conventional, non-digital, occlusal indicator diagnostic methods.

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