Different thickness articulation ribbons

Different thickness articulation ribbons of course give us different readings on occlusal surfaces. So what ribbon or sequeance do you use when verifing occlusion? I have had the opportunity to be an examiner for Certification for many years and in the practical exam the candidates are asked to leave the articulation ribbon that they used with their work.

This way when we grade their work for centric and all the movements we are using the same thickness that they used when making and verifying their work. If by chance they didn’t leave their ribbon and they used a 200u ribbon and we grade with a 21u, which is the standard to use in the industry, all our markings would be different and just might affect their passing of the exam. Being in alignment together is so important for predicatable success and support of one another. These are some photos of the same crown with different ribbon thicknesses. The goal is to share signifance differences and to gain our alignment to make this easier and more fun.


200u Micron Baush paper. Not flexible and doesn’t fit into occ table, so marks only surfaces it can contact.


40u Micron Baush paper, no adjustments made yet but thinner paper that can flex into the occl surface better.     

21u Micron Accufilm ll, being much thinner and falls deeper into occl inclines and surfaces. Touches same surface areas and shows more inside the table detail.




After adjusting and tapping again with 40u Micron Bausch paper.

Same as above using the 40u Micron Bausch paper (Blue) and now tapping in with the 21u Micron AccuFilm ll (Red)

A touch more detail.

Finished and glazed with marks tapping in using the 21u Micron Accufilm ll which reflects light pinpoint occlusal contact.

 We asked some key educators what they are using for checking occlusion and if they have a specfic sequence. Most all are starting with a thicker ribbon or film and then going thinner. Working from a 40u then going down to a 21u thickness for the finer touches. The Accufilm ll measures 21u in thickness with folding it or doubling the ribbon you will be at 42u which is a realistic place to start. Then use it single or unfolded and you will be at 21u. This is what we will be doing in the lab as well and with you doing the same our results should match.


Hope this helps as it was a terrific excercise to go through for us. Call us anytime to share ideas.


Here’s to many more great success together