What are Digital Dentures?
Digital Dentures are the latest advancement in denture technology. The same CAD/CAM processes that have been simplifying restorative dentistry are also now enhancing and streamlining the procedures associated with denture fabrication. For example, using CAD/CAM technology, once the 3-D renderings of a denture are created based on specific anatomical landmarks captured in the impression. A final digital denture can then be fabricated to precise standards.
What are the benefits of digital dentures?
Digital dentures offer increased precision, aesthetics and reducing the risk of unneeded loose dentures. Not only is the denture quality improvement to the highest of standards, but all the information necessary to design an accurate, comfortable, well-fitting and aesthetically pleasing denture is captured and stored in a digital format. A permanent digital record is maintained that can be used in the future if a replacement or duplicate denture is required. This replacement denture from the digital record can be printed with in 1 business day for immediate use….smiling!!
What is the process of getting Digital Dentures?
During the FIRST patient visit, the denturist will take diagnostic impressions of the patients oral anatomy. The denturist may also scan the current denture.
These diagnostic impressions are converted into digital files with our in-house 3D scanner and custom impression trays are digitally designed then printed with our own in-house 3D printer.
The SECOND visit consists of using the 3D printed custom impression trays to capture the denture baring areas under compression, also called “final impressions”, as well as determining the relationship between the upper and lower jaw for proper occlusion and aesthetics. We will be taking a digital image of the patients face to help with the setup during our digital design. Measurements and a thorough discussion is done to determine the tooth size, arrangement and color. Then the final impressions and bite registration are converted into digital files, again, with our 3D scanner.
Using the digital files, 3D denture design software conceptualizes the ideal arch shape, teeth size, and shade to generate a micron-precise ideal denture setup. Once the design is finalized, the digital denture files are uploaded onto our 3D printer to create a denture prototype.
During the THIRD visit, the 3D printed prototype denture is placed in the patient’s mouth and closely evaluated to ensure that all previous measurements, patient requests, and adjustments were replicated. Comfort adjustments are made, if necessary. From an aesthetics perspective, the smile-line, lip support, and denture teeth set-up are also evaluated. Most importantly, you the patient can evaluate and determine if the denture meets your expectations. This is the single most important appointment. Time is allowed for the evaluation and if there are change requests or other concerns we address them in course. This appointment is repeated until the patient feels the final denture will meet all their aesthetics and functional needs.
The final denture is then precision processed and completed, Optiglaze with Pala-Cre-Active gingival shading will also be completed to increase aesthetics and resistance to staining, odor absorption and bacteria growth.
Who is a good candidate for Digital Dentures?
Clearly the future of dentures is digital and almost anyone who is a candidate for dentures who appreciate the benefits of digital dentures. An ideal candidate is a man or woman who has experienced significant tooth loss and still has a sufficient amount of healthy gum tissue and jawbone.