Are digital dentures coming our way? Also, to meet the growing demand for removable restorations, several manufacturers introduced new teeth and other accompanying products to enhance function, esthetics and efficiency.
Another exciting development at the IDS was to see steps being taken to digitize all or some of the denture fabrication process. Exocad offered a preview of its Denture Module—available to resellers in 2014—which allows you to digitally design full dentures by defining anatomical reference points on any edentulous digital model. The module analyzes the digital model and completes guided tooth-set selection and automated tooth setup, all of which can be tweaked by the technician. The final design can be milled or printed.
During the show, the exocad-based Ceramill Mind software was being used at the Amann Girrbach booth to give attendees a sneak peek at its digital denture project still in development, which involves milling a denture waxup on the Ceramill Motion 2 and then processing the waxup conventionally. The technique is based on the idea that milling wax instead of acrylic will better accommodate hard and soft tissue and ultimately achieve a better fit, while still minimizing technician, clinician and patient time.
Nobilium is currently working on a patent-pending approach—using an acrylic disk called DentureDisc™—that mills the acrylic base and molds the teeth in a five-step process:
#1 The DentureDisc is placed into a five-axis mill, which cuts what will be the interface between the teeth and denture base, as well as a horseshoe-shaped trough.
#2 The trough is then filled with a wear-resistant, tooth-colored polymer and the DentureDisc is placed into a press along with a mold to form the teeth; it's then cured with pressure and heat, a process that's similar to the way denture teeth are manufactured.
#3 The DentureDisc goes back into the mill where the tooth-colored polymer is cut back slightly to allow room for an additional layer of the teeth.
#4 To form the enamel layer, the DentureDisc is filled with a lighter, more translucent shade of polymer and again cured with pressure and heat.
#5 Lastly, the mill removes all material from the DentureDisc, leaving the final denture and support structures holding the denture in place in the disc. The denture is then polished conventionally.
The process is still in development and Nobilium plans to launch DentureDisc—which is made from its NobilTone™ high-impact denture base—as soon as CAD/CAM software providers complete their work to meet the requirements for the technique.
"We believe this approach will ultimately be the way dentures are made in the future," said Nobilium President and CEO Devon Howe. "The cost of fabricating a denture can be reduced by as much as 40%, and the lab doesn't need to stock denture teeth or use wax and labor on setups."
Teeth, Trays & Techniques
Candulor introduced the latest generation of NFC+ material in its PhysioStar® , Bonartic® II and Condyloform® II tooth lines. NFC+ is a NanoFilledComposite made with a special manufacturing process that distributes the differently sized fillers, ranging from the nanometer range to the micrometer range, homogenously throughout the UDMA matrix resulting in excellent physical properties, especially its abrasion resistance.
The company also released its ToothScout App for Android (available at the Google Play store). The app shows the dentist the Candulor tooth lines, finds the appropriate anterior and posterior tooth molds for the patient, shows all anterior teeth properly positioned with gingiva, and can take and send photos. The dentist can order the teeth directly through Candulor or transmit the data to the laboratory.
VITA has added nine lifelike molds to its VITAPAN PLUS line of anterior teeth, complementing the four different lines of posterior VITAPAN PLUS teeth. Made of VITA MRP material, the product line for the upper jaw includes a total of seven ovoid molds; seven triangular molds; three rectangular molds; and the new square mold, S46. Six sets are available for the lower jaw.
Nobilium introduced new thermoplastic impression trays developed by world-renowned dentist Dr. Joseph Massad: the Massad Low Temp Edentulous & Strong-Massad Low Temp Denplant™ Dentate Impression Trays. Available in a range of sizes, the thermoplastic trays are heat-moldable, making it easy to create custom trays either on a model or right in the patient's mouth. The trays are simply immersed in 165° to 170°F water for 15-30 seconds until they become rubbery. The clear dentate trays are ideal for implant impressions because the dentist can visualize the implant position through the tray.