Recently, we wrote about how digital dentures are here, viable, and likely to save you both time and money.
When discussing digital dentures, one of the most common responses from our clients is the following question and statement: “What are digital dentures? I don’t have a scanner so I can’t do digital dentures.”
Yet, nothing could be further from the truth!
Our customers are always pleasantly surprised when informed of two key things:
First, you don’t need a scanner to do digital dentures.
Second, you don’t need to do anything differently than you already do.
Digital dentures are simply a manufacturing method (on our end) that produces a number of benefits for both you, and your patients.
In fact, we offer workflows that can help speed up the process for analog customers, just like our digital customers.
It’s these particular benefits and workflows I’d like to discuss here.
What are digital dentures?
So, what exactly are digital dentures? Although you’ve probably heard the term, don’t worry if you’re not truly sure. You’re not alone.
Digital dentures are simply a design and manufacturing method our lab uses to produce a denture.
It’s not something that requires you to do anything more than you’re already doing.
So, how does it all happen?
Well, to begin, we scan articulated models into our software.
Then, we design the base and teeth with the help of our 3Shape software. Next, we 3D-print (or mill, if needed) the try-in, make necessary adjustments after the try-in (if any are needed), and print or mill the base and teeth for the final product.
The teeth and base are then bonded together.
The result? A digital denture.
A digital denture just means it is a denture that is fabricated by our dental technicians with the aid of digital tools.
It’s when we combine the technical knowledge, artistry, and craftsmanship of our techs with the consistency digital technology enables, that a digital denture is created as a result.
So, now that you know what they are, why choose digital dentures?
Why Choose Digital Dentures?
Our crown and bridge department adopted CAD/CAM technologies almost 10 years ago, raising both productivity and consistency in incredible ways.
The strength difference between a full zirconia crown and a PFM is widely known; 1000+ mPA for zirconia as opposed to 90 mPa for the bond of porcelain to metal. Part of what produces that strength is the consistency of the material.
Utilizing Dentsply Sirona’s Printed Lucitone material, our digital dentures are actually stronger than traditional acrylic dentures. This is due both to material properties, as well as how the teeth are cured into the base. The polymer is microscopically flexible and creates a denture with a strength of 3000 j/m², more than twice the strength of regular acrylic.
Another thing that helps deliver such consistent products is that our design software limits and warns us if we design a crown too thin that might compromise its strength.
Now, the same is true for digital dentures.
For example, while designing we have clear views of anatomical landmarks, (versus them being covered with wax) so we can assure the teeth stay over the ridge. When fabricating immediate dentures, we can overlay the existing teeth as a guide for shape, size, and position.
When it comes to producing the denture, we can assure that minimum and uniform thicknesses are produced.
Even further, the fits our digital tools produce are better and more consistent than what is possible by hand. When you ask the software to design a .1 mm gap, it does it – every time and everywhere you tell it to.
Even the best human technicians simply can’t match that with level of consistency on a guaranteed basis.
Including IOS Scanners for Further Benefits
As mentioned earlier, you don’t necessarily need an intraoral scanner to reap the benefits of digital dentures. If you’re satisfied with your current analog methods, you can still enjoy an improved workflow through our capabilities.
However, if you do use an intra oral scanner, the benefit of a digital denture workflow is immense.
If you have a patient with an existing denture, you can utilize the denture as a custom tray, go through the reference denture scanning workflow, and have us fabricate a new denture in as little as 2-3 appointments – all without your patient giving up their denture.
Not only does your patient have to go through less hassle, but fewer appointments significantly reduces your chair time, making it a far more profitable procedure for your practice.
(Look for a future article on the reference denture process utilizing your intraoral scanner or call the lab to discuss it with us!)
The Key Takeaways
Digital dentures have finally reached a point that allows us to fabricate a highly esthetic product, with greater strength and consistency than manual methods can produce.
Whether you use digital or analog methods in your own practice, you can still benefit from our digital denture workflow.
Now, combine these advantages with an intraoral scanner to reduce chair time, and increase profit and patient satisfaction, and you can see why dentists are reporting that dentures are fun again.
Call us to discuss how you can get started with digital dentures so we can create smiles for your patients!
About First Choice Dental Lab
First Choice Dental Lab is a full-service dental lab with locations in Downers Grove, Il. & Wauwatosa, Wi.
We manufacture & customize quality dental restorations for general dentists. We create smiles based on your needs and budget.
We’re here to help you give your patients a reason to smile!
Request your fee schedule today by completing the form on this page.