Articulators in orthodontics : an evidence-based perspective

D.J. Rinchuse, Sanjivan Kandasamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Whether to mount cases on an articulator has been a heated debate on orthodontics for at least 3 decades.(1-36) Articulators can be useful for gross fixed and removable prosthodontics and orthognathic surgical procedures to at least maintain a certain vertical dimension while preclinical laboratory procedures are performed on dental casts.(25) However, their validity in orthodontics is equivocal. A recent survey of randomly selected subscribers of the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics in 2001 showed that about 21% of the respondents routinely mounted models, 44% mounted models occasionally, and 35% never mounted models. The differing opinions ranged from those who mounted models for gnathologic or temporomandibular disorder (TMD) considerations to those who believed that there was no rationale for mounting(37).The evidence-based paradigm has 3 hierarchical model levels.(38,39) Model level #3, a systematic review of literature involving a meta-analysis, is the highest level.(38) With this in mind, there is no systematic review (evidence-based model #3) of mounting in orthodontics, and it does not appear that there will be one soon. Therefore, the decision to mount should be based on an evaluation of the best available research data in which the data from sample studies (evidence-based model #2) are considered superior to case studies, anecdotal reports, and clinicians' personal clinical experiences (evidence-based model #1).(38) When logical and practical considerations are added to the evaluation of the scientific data, we argue against the need to mount in orthodontics. Hence, this article is a position statement supported by evidence-based model #2, and argues that the use of articulators in orthodontics is an unnecessary diagnostic procedure. We consider both sides of the issue of mounting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-308
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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