Virtual Articulation Trial One

To me, the virtual articulator in the CEREC software has always been an awkward feature. On one hand, its existence is necessary to “complete” the digital workflow when compared with tradition. And yet, it seems to be virtually useless in clinical settings, when acquiring the necessary parameters can be extremely tedious, not to mention easily prone to error. Earlier today I was shown this video from the CEREC Doctor forums demonstrating how the default settings on the virtual articulator can still be utilized for dynamic contacts. Why not, right? I mean if the options are already there, why not take whatever advantage it can offer? So this is our first try.

Preparation of #46. It’s been a while since I’ve done a posterior…
Restoration after adjustment with virtual articulator.
A different angle to show to the occlusal table.
The range of dynamic motion is illustrated in pink. Essentially any other color showing through the pink area is a dynamic interference.

So we did two designs of the #46 crown: one with virtual articulator and one without. During the try-in, I was blinded as to which is which, but I did notice a substantial difference between the two very quickly. Other than milling errors that caused one of the proximial contacts to be slightly too tight, both crowns seated effortlessly. The patient remarked that the crown B was more snug than crown A, which also had the slightest more of occlusal interference in maximum intercuspation. I ended up delivery crown B, which incidentally was the design WITH virtual articulator.

Does this prove anything? Not really. But now we do have a whopping sample size of one, which is to be increased in the near future.