Have you ever over adjusted an interproximal contact of direct restorations? Unfortunately this happens to all of us on occasion and in most cases (unless you can add a contact in your office) it means that you must return the restoration(s) to the lab, which in turn means an extra appointment for you and your patient.

Even using the best labs, it's not uncommon to need to adjust these contacts on our indirect restorations. The difference is so small between a restoration with a light contact versus an ideal contact or a heavy contact. It's really remarkable that we ever get a restoration with perfect interproximal contact requiring no adjustments right out of the box.

One simple trick I've learned to make adjusting the contacts on my indirect restorations is to use a small piece of plastic based articulating film such as Accufilm. Just hold the piece of film between the contact you want to check, place the restoration(s), then give the film a slight tug. If the contact is too tight, the film will tear leaving a mark right where you need to adjust. Simply adjust the marked areas and repeat until the film pulls though with resistance (it will stretch a bit).

John R. Carson, DDS, PC, Spear Visiting Faculty. [ www.johnrcarsondds.com ]


Commenter's Profile Image Andrew Arnouk
November 26th, 2012
Thanks John for sharing this with us
Commenter's Profile Image John Carson
November 27th, 2012
I am glad you liked it!
Commenter's Profile Image Christophe Comtesse
November 27th, 2012
Hi John, Thank you for this interesting topic. Did you try the Arti-Fol Approximal Contact Forceps from Bausch?
Commenter's Profile Image John Carson
November 28th, 2012
Christophe, I have not used those forceps, I most often use regular articulating paper forceps since I have those in all my set ups. I did look at them on the web though and they do look very nice and like they would work nicely for this.
Commenter's Profile Image MICHAEL GOLDMAN
October 11th, 2014
I have found it is often difficult to place a small piece of articulating paper interproximally while trying in a crown. Sometimes I will rub articulating paper on the contact area of the [dry] crown leaving it covered with blue or red and then try in the crown. When it is removed I can see where it has rubbed against the next contact [the crown color will show through where the color has rubbed off] and adjust it. Maybe some will find this helpful.
Commenter's Profile Image John Carson
October 14th, 2014
Nice tip Michael, that can work really well too!
Commenter's Profile Image Muna Strasser
October 17th, 2014
I also like the Accufilm IV by Parkell that you paint on in areas where it is tough to get articulating paper through. Very helpful :) Thanks, John!