The way your teeth come together is absolutely critical. If one tooth touches more than another then TMJ (joint) problems, excessive wear of your teeth and eventual tooth death (then requiring a root canal treatment) can and usually will occur. Therefore adjusting the bite, or how your teeth touch, is one of the most critical procedures in dentistry.
Everytime a filling or crown is placed the bite needs to be adjusted. Too frequently the bite is not adjusted correctly for many reasons such as too much saliva on the tooth. If the patient leaves with the bite not being correct then there are several problems:
1. The patient does not want to come back, so they try to put up with the bite problem. This is bad for patient confidence as they will tell their friends that the tooth the doctor worked in still hurts or feels funny.
2. Once the patient does return since now the tooth is aching, more invasive treatment such as a root canal may be necessary. This is expensive, damages the tooth and further deteriotates the patient/doctor relationship.
3. The restoration that was placed can break from a bad bite, which would require redoing it and possibly more extensive treatment. The patient/doctor relationship now is almost completely deteriorated.
So, any device that allows a dentist to most accurately mark and adjust the bite will significantly benefit both the dentist and the patient.
The Hahn Twin Forceps reduce or eliminate all the above issues. Traditionally a single articulating forceps is used to adjust the bite. A piece or carbon paper is inserted between two jaws and then the patient is asked to bite on the paper. This marks the contacts on the teeth and allows the dentist to adjust the interferences. There are several problems with this method:
1. Saliva reduces the ability of the carbon paper to mark the occlusion.
2. The articulating paper wears out quickly, requiring frequent replacement during the procedure.
These issues can be solved by using 2 articulating forceps. One holds gauze in it to dry both the top and bottom teeth at the same time by having the patient bite on the gauze. Then quickly a second articulating forceps is inserted with articulating paper, which marks the occlusion very accurately. This process requires handeling of several instruments and extra time, and time allows saliva to once again spill onto the teeth, which results in errors. Many instruments are necessary and an assistant is necessary.
The Hahn Twin Forceps hold both gauze and articulating paper in one unit allowing drying and immediate marking of the bite. The unit is about the same size and weight of the single articulating forceps, costs the same and is of the same quality. No assistant is necessay as a single operator can very accurately adjust the bite. First one side is inserted with gauze. The patient bites on the gauze, opens and the unit is quickly flipped and the other side is inserted with articulating paper. This is the most efficient and accurate way to adjust a bite.
Other applications for the Hahn Twin Forceps exist. Two pieces of articulating paper can be used in one instrument reducing the number of times that the paper needs to be replaced. Also, different color articulating papers can be used to mark different functions such as occlusion vs. excursive movements.