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A typodont is a model of the mouth which is designed to be used in dental education. There are a number of settings in which typodonts can be utilized and these models are made by numerous medical supply companies. Companies which make dental models usually offer a range of products so that people can select the version which will be most suitable for their needs. The cost of a typodont can vary, depending on the features it has and the materials from which it is made.
Classically, typodonts include a model of the palate along with the gingiva and teeth. Many have teeth which can be removed to expose the tooth sockets. The model is typically hinged, or it comes in two parts, allowing people to fully examine the interior of the model. It may be life size or scaled up or down for convenience.
Dentists often use typodonts when they are working with patients. The model can be used to demonstrate proper brushing and flossing technique, and it can also be useful when discussing treatment options and procedures. Using a typodont, a dentist can show a patient what he or she plans to do during a surgery, for example, or the dentist can demonstrate different treatment options to the patient. The typodont can also be used to educate people about dental implants, dentures, and other devices. Providing a visual illustration for patients can be very helpful with many forms of patient education.
In dental school, typodonts are used to teach students about anatomy, and to give then an opportunity to practice dentistry. Typodonts can be fitted with teeth which dental students can drill and fill, extract, and use in other practice procedures. Dentists can also create custom models when they want to practice a challenging procedure or think out potential treatment options for a patient with a difficult case. A typodont can also be a precise model of someone's mouth to allow a dentist to make sure that crowns and other dental fixtures will fit properly.
Dental supply catalogs are usually a good source for dental models. It is also sometimes possible to buy used models from dental schools. People who require custom models or models with special features may need to wait for their orders to be filled. The speed at which orders can be met depends on the size of the company and its current order backlog. Sometimes turnaround on a typodont order is very fast.
@David09 - I had two crowns done on separate occasions, and both times my dentist used a dental typodont to illustrate the procedure.
It helped me to understand what he was going to do and where he was going to place the crown. It also helped when deciding whether to go with the porcelain or gold for the material.
I preferred the porcelain because it looked more natural. It didn’t have much of an impact on the final price either way; so like you, I’m glad that insurance foot the bill for at least some of it.
Every time I go to the dentist for a cleaning, I get a dental education in proper flossing and brushing. I don’t know that I actually need it frankly; I think it’s one extra fee that they tack onto the dental bill.
Anyway, the dentist holds up a typodont and uses it to model proper practices for my oral hygiene. Floss beneath the gum line, he says, as he moves the floss up and down on the model’s teeth. Gently brush, he says; be sure to stimulate your gums and use a toothpick.
It’s the same advice every time and I try to follow it; but like I said, I think it’s part of the service that they provide. It even says on the bill, “dental education.” Oh well, I’m glad the insurance is paying.
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