AFG: Shape and differentiate with the objectivity of numbers!

INFOMEDIX ITALIAN DENTISTRY | Sharing knowledge | 1 2023

Sdt Alberto Battistelli

Differentiating the studio or laboratory with superior professionalism based no longer on individual creativity, but on knowledge and skills objectified by the numbers in the teeth is the new front with which one can distinguish oneself.

AFG is a dental modeling technique that has transformed into a “system”. It can no longer be enough to differentiate yourself with appearances, luxury or the technology itself, which is so popular. With AFG the professional acquires extraordinary reconstructive abilities of the dental anatomy – but also extraordinary communication strength never seen before. A modeling technique as an end in itself is of no use if it is not transformed into an objective “system” of design, creation, “sale” and communication of what is done in a unique and unequivocal way.

At the heart of AFG are functional human teeth that respect nature and its very “repetitive” numerical codes in their invisible design. AFG reads dental shapes by stylizing them and reducing them to codified geometric patterns capable of guiding every hand gesture and every word of presentation, explanation

or defense of employment, both for dentists and dental technicians; an immense research effort started about 30 years ago to make excellence accessible to all.

My first notes date back to 1991, where I began to put on paper my suffering caused by the daily challenge of imitating nature. The schools overseas had disappointed me almost as much as the Northern European ones,

where the frantic search for extra-dental data had conditioned and “deformed” the forms that have always seemed to me to be fake, invented, mechanical or even absurd!

I had the nocturnal inspiration to try to humanize those anatomical “Avatars”, daily called “capsules”, in terms of dimensions. With the caliper in my hand, a world of simple mathematical wonders was revealed to me, of astonishing geometric combinations that gave me and still do, an immense inner satisfaction, produced by that strange sensation you feel when you become aware of having found what you were looking for.

After 8 years, in 1999 I held the first AFG conference at a conference organized by the University of Tor Vergata (Rome). I realized that I had aroused great interest, especially when I referred to the numerical codes and the play of diagonals inside and outside the shape of the teeth. It was the early days, the technique was still a first principle of teaching dental modeling, however innovative, far from today’s 360° “system”, where modeling leads straight to a new global management of relationships between professionals and they with the patient, through objective criteria that no longer leave anything to chance. A system of codified procedures that controls planning and execution in a meticulous way. A calculation criterion for codes comparable to that of tailors and archaeologists on which the cerebro-manual coordination necessary for practical realization is based; we then add the basic techniques of painting and sculpture – which for millennia have been the cultural heritage of our peninsula and of the entire Mediterranean. A procedure comparable to that described in the major anatomy texts for artists.

In 2002 I presented the work to the world with an article in 6 languages ​​(Dental Dialogue – Team Work Media) almost simultaneously with the first courses I had held in the previous year. At first I only worked on the back teeth where the references for using a caliper were more evident, only 8 years later I came out with the reference codes for the front teeth. It was hard work but in the end after many tests and statistical calculations I managed to simplify everything and make AFG a practical work tool that interrupts improvisation in the procedures for memorizing and modeling the functional shape of the teeth in all aspects, medical and technical.

Ultimately it was a question of creating a concept of normal human anatomy also in the dental field, moving away from the artificial forms that the gnathologic schools have always presented to us. Therefore, repeat what is basic in medicine also in the dental field. If I entered a medical bookshop, I found many proposals for texts on normal human anatomy, guided by geometries and numbers: in the dental sector, however, there was a total void to be filled, obviously in the prosthetic field, because in the orthodontic world they have always been used to talking with numbers: even if limited to the available spaces. I had never been convinced by the way of taking the data to create the shape of the gnathological schools, also because they were too focused on the temporomandibular joints rather than on the teeth themselves! A fatal mistake that opened unexpected doors for me. Yet, great foreign authors and not like Wheeler or our doctor. Franco Noveri had already warned us. The teeth are born in full size and are already present when there is very little bone! Therefore the relationship between the shape of the tissues and that of the bones is scientifically non-existent, their relationship occurs only at the level of position. Any embryology text can explain these simple things, but they seem to have been ignored almost totally and forever.

To this it must be added that the classic mechanistic data coming from the temporomandibular joints are also unreliable for objectifying the position of the teeth, as they are based on a “linear mathematics” which claims to describe a complex-chaotic system whose mathematics is in its infancy. The Nobel Prize to Italy of prof. Giorgio Parisi explains exactly this, but in the dental field it seems that a separate numerical science exists. Digital offers opportunities for much superior data collection, but here too we are in its infancy and only a few have understood its potential.

AFG, although only covering the field of dental shape and not of its position, if not marginally, explains how nature thinks of shape as a “functional shape by arranging the anatomical components in a way that predicts and facilitates stability and movement and does so with mathematics ! One could compare AFG to a music school, where symphonies can be created with 7 simple codified notes; without fundamental numerical correctness, however, there would only be discordances. The exercise criteria are also comparable to those of music: to generate perfect brain – hand coordination, a rigorous method and following principles of decomposition and repetition are needed, for dentists and dental technicians alike. The time factor is the last but not the “last” of the requirements, you go to the conservatory for 10 years, for dental anatomy the 6 months required by AFG are in fact the minimum necessary to have solid knowledge. No one has ever learned to play a guitar in two days, AFG is in fact a “conservatory” of dental form.

In 2019, AFG was the subject of a prestigious award from the Office of the President of the Senate of the Italian Republic (Hon. Sen. Pres. Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati). On 11 June in the Isma room of the Senate itself, with a dedicated official ceremony, for the first time a technique in the dental field was considered national pride. AFG’s reference and objective inspiration to Italian-Mediterranean culture (painting-sculpture, tailoring, archaeology, in mathematical-geometric aspects), as well as its international diffusion in 13 languages, has earned it historical recognition.