The size of the Brazilian mouth

Dentists have new molds of dental arch

In September of this year a new generation of molds of dental arch will be available for the close to 150,000 dentists who work in the country. The new products are the result of twenty years of research by professor Artêmio Luiz Zanetti, professor of the  Clinic of Partial Removable Prosthesis of the School of Odontology of the University of São Paulo (FOUSP). Two years ago, he associated himself with the company Teccom, which produces instruments for the medical area, with the objective of pushing ahead with the project Development of a transfer mold  – Zanetti Technique, which is part of the program Partnership for Innovative Technology (PITE) of  FAPESP.

The conclusion of the work had its beginning in 1977, when professor Zanetti discovered the difficulty his students had in obtaining good reproductions (models) of dental archs . “With this, I decided to carry out a study of the dimension of the dental archs of the Brazilian biotype by taking as a base 400 arches, being 200 upper and 200 lower, obtained from 100 students of FOUSP and 100 of the University São Francisco, in Bragança Paulista, where I also lectured”, Zanetti tells.

The collection f the structure of the arch is made using a mold filled with a malleable material which serves for the etching of the dental base when there is the necessity for the manufacture of a tooth or of a complete denture. Shortly afterwards the material solidifies and serves as a parameter for the prosthesis work. In 1980, based on this work,. Zanetti studied seven types of molds – five imported and two national – used in practical dentistry. The conclusion indicated the incompatibility of the dimensions of the molds with the dental archs  of the students.

Without resources
“Not one of them would do ” recalls the professor, recently retired, referring to the comparative study which he carried out with the seven molds.  “I confirmed that the dentists had in their hands an inadequate tool”, he added. Zanetti did not have the resources to make use of his observations on a commercial scale. As time went by, he developed a technique with which the dentist could carry out, in a single session, all the work which normally required various visits to the consulting room by the patient.

The use of the articulator is one of the main secrets of the method of the professor from USP. “After concluding college, the professional leaves aside the use of the articulator, a tool indispensable for the capture of the measurements of the patient”, says  Zanetti. According to a study carried out by Teccom, of the 150,000 dentists who work in Brazil, only 16,000 use the articulator. This piece of equipment measures their position of the maxillary bone of the patient and the characteristics of its occlusion, or that is, the way in which he closes his mouth. Thus , the new molds will help everyone, dentists and patients.

Dr. Artêmio Luiz Zanetti, 70 years of age, graduated in Odontology at USP. Retired last year and is currently a professor of the University of the City of São Paulo (Unicid) and of the University Camilo Castelo Branco (Unicastelo), Campus IX, of Campinas.

Development of a Transfer Mold  –  Zanetti Technique (nº 97/13131-1); Modality Research Awards – PITE; Coordinator Artêmio Luiz Zanetti; Investiment R$ 194.000,00 from FAPESP and R$ 96.250,00 from the company Teccom.