Integrated Digital Articulation: There's Something for Everyone


Integrated Digital Articulation: There's Something for Everyone
Melissa Thomas, DDS, MS, FACP
Shalimar, FL

Jessamy J. Thornton, DDS, MS
Yorktown, VA

One of the challenges in the evolution of digital dentistry is the predictability of translating time-tested ideas onto a computer screen. This presentation will discuss the development and implementation of novel Gnathology-driven digital workflows utilized by the Uniformed Services University Air Force Postgraduate Dental School to expedite treatment for warfighters. This presentation will include: full mouth fixed rehabilitation integrating digital aspects into analog workflows; utilizing jaw motion tracking to fabricate removable prostheses with functionally generated path occlusal schemes; capturing jaw motion and developing dynamic occlusion for a patient with unilateral joint replacement.

At the conclusion of this session, attendees should be able to:

  • Compare similarities and differences in analog versus digital workflows.
  • Identify methods to integrate digital articulation into already established workflows.
  • Find ways to utilize digital articulation for complicated occlusal schemes.

Biography: Maj. Melissa Thomas received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2012 and commissioned into the United States Navy shortly after graduation. She served as a general dentist in the Navy from 2012-2017, being stationed at MCRD Parris Island and Camp Foster, Okinawa. In 2017, Maj Thomas transferred into the United States Air Force, and completed the Air Force prosthodontics program at JBSA-Lackland, TX in 2020. She is now stationed at Hurlburt Field, FL, where she achieved board certification status in 2021. Maj Thomas currently leads the dental laboratory at Hurlburt Field, with focused efforts towards teaching and advancing digital dentistry within the Department of Defense.

Biography: Dr. Jessamy J. Thornton is a 2011 UNMC College of Dentistry graduate. After commissioning, she completed an AEGD program at Eglin AFB, FL, and practiced general dentistry for four years at Randolph AFB, TX. Dr. Thornton earned her master’s degree in oral biology from the USUHS in MD and her certificate in prosthodontics from the Air Force Postgraduate Dental School in San Antonio, TX in 2020. Dr. Thornton is stationed at JBLE, VA, and serves as the Dental Laboratory Flight Commander. She is responsible for training eight laboratory technicians in one of thirteen Air Force training labs. She is also a faculty member for the 1-year AEGD program with eight residents.