I've been traveling around the country this season and have visited a number of laboratories, manufacturers and educational institutions. When I arrived in the Phoenix area, I visited Tim Thompson, President and CEO of Global Dental Science, LLC, in Scottsdale to learn about the AvaDentTM Digital Dentures system, which is now available to laboratories to market to dentist-clients. Watch for more stories in my Road Trip series throughout the 2014 issues of LMT. ~Judy Fishman, LMT Publisher
LMT: I understand you’ve cracked the code for digitizing the denture fabrication process. Can you fill us in?
Thompson: For the past four years, Global Dental Science has been developing an exclusive digital platform for the design and manufacture of AvaDent Digital Dentures. It’s the result of a comprehensive process called Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) used in conjunction with CAD/CAM; CAE uses sophisticated, scientific algorithms to aid and control the bulk of design and automated manufacturing tasks.
Currently, the end product is a digitally designed and milled denture base with milled pockets into which conventional denture teeth are set. However, at LMT LAB DAY Chicago, we’ll be introducing a new generation in which the entire denture, including the base and teeth, is milled to full contour from a patented, pre-shrunk, bacteria-resistant, multi-colored, polychromatic, double cross-linked PMMA puck (see photo at right).
A key advantage of the digital process is the resultant AvaDent digital record which can be integrated with a CBCT scan and implant planning software and used to fabricate a variety of products for implant cases including: an immediate denture, a scanning guide, a bone reduction guide, a drill guide, an occlusal locking splint, a conversion denture and a final AvaDent hybrid prosthesis.
LMT: How do labs get involved with this system?
Thompson: AvaDent was introduced directly to dentists in the Fall of 2011. By building brand awareness among dentists first, Global Dental Science has made it easier for laboratories to jump on board. Now we are offering the AvaDent Laboratory Partnership Program.
Our goal in creating this program is to assist laboratories in the development of a digital workflow, allowing them greater product consistency, less organizational stress and increased profitability.
Instead of the dentist sending us his cases—including the impression, prescription and measurements taken with our proprietary AMD—he sends them directly to the laboratory. The lab then scans the impression and AMD at its facility and sends the resulting digital files, along with the prescription, to AvaDent through the AvaDent Connect System.
Once we receive the records and prescription parameters, the AvaDent algorithms automatically identify the anatomical landmarks and measurements and, incorporating time-tested removable principles, recommend a precise setup.
The dentist uses the AMD to determine occlusal vertical dimension, CR position, lip contour position, midline and incisal line, esthetic angle position and gingival height in one appointment.