I often get calls from customers who want to start using their Slidematic Facebow after having it in storage for many years. Putting a facebow back into the mix can help increase accuracy and cut down on costly remakes, but oftentimes there may be parts missing or the articulators that you currently use may need to be considered. The Slidematic will work on most Whip Mix, Denar and Hanau articulators.
Sometimes the user may just have the Denar index and wonder if they need to purchase a completely new Slidematic system. This is not usually the case. They may simply need the correct index for the type of articulator being used, as the measuring bow and the transfer assembly is the same for all indexes.
The current measuring bow has a hole for the vertical rod of the transfer assembly. It has a flat portion facing the patient (distal). Older models of bows / indices may have the flat portion of the hole facing a different direction. The key thing to remember is that the flat portion of the hole must match the same direction as the bow. If the bow’s flat portion is distal, the index’s flat portion must also be distal. If they do not match, then either the bow or the index will need to be replaced to match.
It is entirely possible for a modern transfer assembly to fit an old bow and index, when the flat portion is facing another direction. In that case, both should match that direction. The bow can be purchased independently of the transfer assembly and index. Another way to ensure all parts are present is to send technical support photos of what is on hand and how it is to be used. The old adage is very true in this case; a picture is definitely worth a thousand words.
A part that often breaks is the plastic portion of the tee knob on the transfer assembly. While the plastic itself cannot be replaced, (a common request), the tee knob with pressed plastic and screw is available. It is the same size for the #1 and # 2 clamp, but each has a different length nylon spacer that goes over the screw portion and is sold separately from the tee knob and screw assembly. Therefore, there is no need to replace the entire transfer assembly. The parts list will help guide you in taking an inventory of what is available and what is not. Patients will also appreciate the decreased chair time during the delivery of their appliance or restoration.