Review suggests that face-bow transfer not essential for good outcomes in denture construction


The use of the face-bow record during complete denture construction is recommended in most prosthodontic text books and taught in many UK and US dental schools.  The aim of this review was to compare the outcomes of the construction of dental prostheses and occlusal splints with and without the use of face-bow transfer.

Searches were performed in PubMed/MEDLINE, LILACS (Latin American and Caribbean Literature on the Health Science) and BBD (Brazilian Bibliography of Dentistry). References of selected studies were also searched along with relevant textbooks.   Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing dental prostheses or occlusal splints constructed with or without face-bow transfer were included. No language limits were applied.

  • 8 RCTs involving 417 patients in total were included.
  • 7 studies investigated complete denture construction,
    • 3 studies found no difference between the two approaches
    • 4 studies presented better results without use of the face-bow
  • 1 study investigated occlusal splints finding no difference.

The authors concluded

Current scientific evidence suggests that face-bow transfer is not imperative to achieve better clinical results in prosthodontics.


The studies included in the review show a great deal of heterogeneity in study design and the use of various satisfaction tools. The trials are all relatively small ranging in size from 5 patients (a cross-over study) to 122.  In view of the quality of the available evidence the authors are rightly cautious in their conclusions. Recently a number of other studies  (Dental Elf 18th June 2013) have also indicated that simpler treatment approaches to denture construction are as effective as the more complex approaches taught in dental schools and detailed in prosthodontic textbooks.


Farias-Neto A, Dias AH, de Miranda BF, de Oliveira AR. Face-bow transfer in prosthodontics: a systematic review of the literature. J Oral Rehabil. 2013 Jul 8. doi: 10.1111/joor.12081. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23829310.

Dental Elf 18th June 2013 – Simplified technique for complete denture fabrication had no adverse effect on Patient satisfaction or quality of life


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