An articulator is a mechanical device used in dentistry to which casts of the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth are fixed, reproducing recorded positions of the mandible in relation to the maxilla. An articulator assists in the fabrication of removable prosthodontic appliances (dentures), fixed prosthodontic restorations (crowns, bridges, inlays and onlays) and orthodontic appliances.
An articulator which is adjustable in one or more, but not all of the following areas: condylar angle, Bennett side-shift, incisal and cuspid guidance, and shape of the glenoid fossae and eminintiae. By nature, this sort of articulator’s use is only meaningful if the position of the maxillae are duplicated with respect to the hinge axis of the mandibular condyles.The majority of these articulators again have straight condylar paths, however the path angle may be changed, allowing the patient’s condylar angle to be programmed into the articulator . This is still not a true representation of the articular eminence as it is a flat condylar pathway. Some semi-adjustable articulators have average value Bennett shift/movement built into the condylar head element, replicating the average head shape of the condyle . This mimics the movement of the condyles better than some ball-shaped condylar heads found on other articulators Normally this is achieved by the use of a face-bow.