A clinical technique for virtual articulator mounting with natural head position by using calibrated stereophotogrammetry

J Prosthet Dent. 2018 Jun;119(6):902-908. doi: 10.1016/j.prosdent.2017.07.026. Epub 2017 Sep 29.


Accurate articulator-mounted casts are essential for occlusion analysis and for fabrication of dental prostheses. Although the axis orbital plane has been commonly used as the reference horizontal plane, some clinicians prefer to register the horizontal plane with a spirit level when the patient is in the natural head position (NHP) to avoid anatomic landmark variations. This article presents a digital workflow for registering the patient's horizontal plane in NHP on a virtual articulator. An orientation reference board is used to calibrate a stereophotogrammetry device and a 3-dimensional facial photograph with the patient in NHP. The horizontal plane can then be automatically registered to the patient's virtual model and aligned to the virtual articulator at the transverse horizontal axis level. This technique showed good repeatability with positional differences of less than 1 degree and 1 mm in 5 repeated measurements in 1 patient.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Articulators
  • Face / anatomy & histology
  • Head
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Models, Dental
  • Patient Positioning / methods
  • Photogrammetry / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Workflow