“Numerical control” anatomy for CAD operators with AFG


Sdt Alberto Battistelli

Alberto Battistelli has been a member of the scientific committee of numerous sector magazines since 1984. He holds courses, conferences and has published numerous articles in Italy and abroad. Co-author of the book “Precision in Prosthetic Restauration” Resh Editor 1993, together with Romeo Pascetta and Dr. Domenico Massironi.

He created the new system for modeling the natural and functional shape of teeth, based on mathematical-geometric concepts called A.F.G. (Anatomic Functional Geometry) published in 13 languages ​​in the books AFG modeling and AFG memo published by Teamworkmedia s.r.l..

In 2019 he was awarded, with a dedicated ceremony, by the presidential office of the Senate of the Italian Republic, president Hon. Sen. Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, for having made AFG an “Italian Excellence in the World”.

The time for improvisation, instinct and reliance on creativity in the reconstruction of dental anatomy is over.

The form is the only thing that really remains in common between analog and digital, but we can no longer think that it can be taught with the old methods in an entirely numerically controlled context: “look and copy” didn’t make so much sense before, let alone today where everything is proceduralized and the true dental technical bases are minimal or non-existent. AFG, the system I created since the 90s, immediately conceived its teeth under the aegis of mathematics and geometry (triangulation etc.), digital came much later and has yet to really understand how to use numbers in CAD design . Even today we see teeth chosen from libraries without any logic, without reference to the intimate project of the tooth.

Already 10 years ago I proposed to an Italian company (EGS) a method for taking the shapes that are mathematically closest to the patient’s numbers, everything was done well, but we didn’t go beyond the example shapes that I had included. The mathematical sampling should be applied to all libraries and then move towards a significant reduction in clicks with automations that are still far from being taken into consideration. In my humble opinion you don’t have a digital mentality simply because you know how to use software, the mouse doesn’t make you a dental technician if behind it there isn’t a deep knowledge of the “bars to jump” in the slalom to build a prosthesis, but at the same time In this way, it is difficult to push buttons logically if you do not interpret the teeth from a numerical, or mathematical-geometric, point of view. “Learn to look at the world with a geometric eye, stylizing shapes” said the great Tuscan painter Giorgio Michetti. Digital works with numbers and triangles, AFG introduced these prerogatives 20 years earlier to rationalize and facilitate the learning and creation of the functional shape of the teeth. Much of what is considered digital is in fact analogue even if it comes out of the computer: I don’t see any difference in concept in the “digital” tools for managing form compared to analogue ones: adding, removing, distorting and smoothing are operations completely common to the two worlds that are only apparently opposite!

When people ask me if AFG is digitally compatible I am forced to reply that there is nothing that needs to become compatible if they are in fact the same thing! Standardizing the way in which CAD operators conceive teeth in their brains is the real challenge of the moment.

I was very happy to see digital companies and large laboratories asking me for advice on training their CAD colleagues from a different aspect.

The first experiences were very interesting. I interviewed many kids to ask them what criteria they used to choose teeth from bookshops, the result was a true Babylon of ideas without rhyme or reason. In this way there is a risk that customers will always and only request some operators to the detriment of others because enormous differences emerge in terms of taste, instinct and experience, with consequent results.

Production activity concentrated on a few can paralyze the company. An objective instruction that standardizes thought, or rather the way of conceiving the form, is now indispensable in the digital world, but it necessarily passes through an analogue phase guided by numerical codes.

We must also take into account the little or no dental technical experience of many young people who are generally good with the mouse but immature and inexperienced in everything else. For these kids, I repeat to the obsession, an analogue training rigorously guided by codified aspects can fill the gap, while it would be useless and harmful to proceed with a traditional type of training, with the obsolete modeling techniques abandoned by myself more than 20 years ago .

Introducing AFG guide elements to support and facilitate the choice of shapes from CAD software and their correct positioning is AFG’s next challenge, with the precious help of colleagues who are experts in CAD design, we hope to be able to bring something new to the Colloquium Dental of Montichiari (BS) in October, where AFG Dental Academy will have its congress for students and members on Thursday 19 October. The academy will also have a stand with double the space compared to the past, where mini conferences will be held and new products will be presented.