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Article: Volume 49 Number 1 Page 40 - January 2022

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  Dental Update 496: 40-45

Removable Prosthodontics:  The Use of a Gothic Arch Tracing to Record Centric Relation in the Construction of Complete Dentures

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Abstract: The establishment of a fixed and reproducible reference point (centric relation) is critical when reorganizing the occlusion in a dentate patient or constructing complete dentures in an edentulous patient. There are many techniques for guiding the patient’s mandible into centric relation and recording the relationship between the maxilla and mandible in this position. Some patients are resistant to being manipulated into this position and have an unreproducible habitual path of closure. A gothic arch tracing is considered to be the most reliable and predictable method of determining centric relation. The present article describes the gothic arch tracing technique and illustrates its use in an edentulous patient during the construction of complete dentures.

Clinical relevance: The gothic arch technique can be used to predictably locate centric relation in both dentate and edentulous patients.

Author notes: Kenneth J Strain, BDS, Dip H&T, PGC Med Ed, MFDS RCS(Eng) Dental Core Trainee in Restorative Dentistry, Leeds Dental Institute, Worsley Building, Clarendon Way, Leeds. Philippa Hoyle, BChD(Hons), MJDF RCS(Eng), MPros RCS(Ed), Consultant in Restorative Dentistry, Charles Clifford Dental Hospital, Sheffield. Zaid Ali, BChD, MFDS RCS(Ed), PhD, MSc, PGDip, PGCert, Consultant in Restorative Dentistry, Leeds Dental Institute, Leeds. Stephen J Bonsor, BDS(Hons), MSc, FHEA FDS, RCPS(Glasg), MFDT(Ed), GDP, The Dental Practice, 21 Rubislaw Terrace, Aberdeen; Senior Clinical Lecturer, Institute of Dentistry, University of Aberdeen, Online Tutor/Clinical Lecturer, University of Edinburgh email:

Objective: To describe the background and clinical use of the gothic arch tracing technique to establish centric relation in the provision of complete dentures.