Luke Kahng, CDT, shares the detailed study models he fabricated based on his study of hundreds of natural teeth.
For many years, I've been interested in learning to recreate truly natural teeth shape and contour and have studied the morphology of more than 1,000 extracted teeth. Using what I observed about cusps, fossa, marginal ridges, dissection grooves, secondary anatomy, occlusion table and buccal and lingual contour, I fabricated full contour waxups, stone study models and then final porcelain restorations. For proper occlusion and cusp-to-fossa relationship, I mounted the 28 restorations on a semi-adjustable articulator to eliminate interference.
By simulating natural teeth, with proper length from root to incisal edge, we can more easily see a patient's long axis and three dimensional aspects as well as the emergence profile. The multiple colors evident in the porcelain give teeth the natural appearance we technicians constantly strive to recreate.
I use the study models to train my technicians to produce the most natural-looking crowns possible and have also developed a chart emphasizing each quadrant of the mouth, as well as a mat depicting natural tooth morphology that is at each technician's workstation.
With this knowledge of natural anatomy in hand, we can speak confidently with our clients. The differences between, for example, premolar vs. molar shape or mandibular vs. maxillary premolars, are illustrated through wax design and reconstruction and follow the blueprint that nature intended.
Technician's Gallery: Technicians are welcome to submit photos illustrating their work along with photo captions and an explanation of each case. Send submissions to LTT@lmtmag.com.