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Measuring Occlusal Distance

One of the most common problems with encountered in the lab is inadequate tooth preparation. One source of inadequate preparation is insufficient occlusal clearance. This leads to unsatisfactory cosmetics, lab adjustment to the model which must be repeated before seating or, for best results, the re-prep of the tooth.

An occlusal reduction ring easily prevents inadequate occlusal clearance by allowing you to quickly measure the occlusal distance. These rings are available in 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 mm sizes and were voted one of the top 100 products of 2006 by Dentistry Today.

Tooth Preparation Guide


  • Sharp edge preparation without beveling
  • Should be tapered by 6-15°
  • Occlusal/incisal reduction should be 1.5 mm
  • From the deepest point of the fissure at least 1.5 mm are needed
  • In MOD-inlays, avoid thin connecting saddles
  • All internal line angles should be rounded
  • All margins should remain at or above the gingival crest
  • For onlays, the facial reduction (buccal, oral, approx.) should be at least 1.5 mm
  • At the gingival margins the shoulders should be between 90 and 105°


  • Deep chamfer or shoulder preparation (90 - 105°)
  • Gingival margins remain at or above gingival crest
  • Avoid sharp edges and angles
  • From the deepest point of the fissure at least 1.5 mm are needed
  • Incisal/occlusal reduction should be 2 mm


  • You need 0.7 mm facial reduction
  • Facial reduction according to tooth form and angle (see Pic 1)
  • Slightly rounded shoulder parallel to the gingival crest
  • Going up into proximal should be softly rounded
  • Keep proximal contacts if you want the tooth form to be kept
  • If covering the incisal edge, 1.5 mm should be reduced, if the same length as before is wanted (see Pic 2)
  • If incisal edge needs to be lengthened, the oral edge should be prepared as a small chamfer (see Pic 3)
  • Preparing a central cut is helpful for fixation while luting

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