Technology to Watch: AvaDent™ Digital Dentures
Posted Sep 14, 2012, Published 2012-09-01
Since launching AvaDent Digital Dentures last fall, Global Dental Science has milled close to 2,000 arches. The dentures are currently being marketed directly to dentists; a laboratory partnership model is in the works.
"With AvaDent Digital Dentures, we are changing the entire fabrication process for removable prosthetics. This digital platform reduces processing time for the patient and dentist; improves fit, function and esthetics; and has tremendous future potential for implants, immediate dentures, bars and integration with cone beam CT scans," says Andy Jakson, Vice President of Clinical Development at Global Dental Science; he is also a laboratory owner.
For the past three years, Global Dental Science—a Scottsdale, AZ company focused on process automation for dental procedures—has been developing software for digitally designing dentures and a process for milling the denture base and setting conventional denture teeth into the base. The company launched AvaDent Digital Dentures last October and to date has milled close to 2,000 arches. Currently, the dentures are being marketed directly to dentists but the company is implementing a partnership model to give labs the opportunity to get involved with the technology.
Here's the AvaDent clinical process: The dentist uses a conventional impression-taking technique and materials from AvaDent's kit that includes a custom thermoplastic tray, border molding material, impression material, registration material and an esthetic ruler. It also includes a proprietary Anatomical Measurement Device (AMD) the dentist uses to determine occlusal vertical dimension, CR position, lip contour position, midline and incisal line, esthetic angle position and gingival height (see Figure 1).
"The software does everything a technician does in a systematic, automated process and lets him be as creative as he wants to be. It can reproduce any characterization the dentist specifies on the prescription,"Andy Jakson, Vice President of Clinical Development at Global Dental Science
He sends the impression, AMD and prescription to the 27,000-sq-ft AvaDent Digital Facility where a technician scans the impression and the AMD, and the data is merged to create a 3D digital denture (see Figure 2). The proprietary software enables the AvaDent technician to set up on a virtual articulator, indicate the anatomical landmarks, create optimal setup and occlusal scheme and select the appropriate molds from tooth libraries including Dentsply's Portrait® IPN® and Classic® teeth and Ivoclar Vivadent's teeth. "The software does everything a technician does in a systematic, automated process and lets him be as creative as he wants to be. It can reproduce any characterization the dentist specifies on the prescription," explains Jakson.
The digital denture base is then milled on a computer milling station from pucks made from Dentsply's Lucitone 199®, Keystone's Diamond D® or Ivoclar Vivadent's ProBase acrylics (see Figure 3). AvaDent manufactures the pucks using 50 times more pressure than traditional denture processing so their density is greater which, in turn, reduces fungal growth and renders a more hygienic prosthesis.
The teeth are set into the milled pockets (see Figure 4), slow bonded in a pressure/heat curing unit and returned to the dentist within six days (see Figure 5). The entire process requires only two chairside appointments and the patient's permanent digital record is stored at Global Dental Science for future use if the denture is lost or needs to be repaired.
When the laboratory partnership model goes into effect, labs will be able to sell the AvaDent kit to their dentist-clients, train them on the technique and provide them with the AvaDent Advanced Try-In (ATI). The ATI features a milled acrylic base, complete with modified tooth pockets and teeth set in a ridge of wax which gives the clinician the ability to make functional and esthetic changes based on the patient's feedback. Then the lab will have the option to send the ATI or a scan of the ATI to AvaDent for processing; AvaDent can also final finish and polish the denture or the lab can handle the finishing itself.
For more details, call 855-AVADENT (282-3368) or 480-275-2736 or email info@globalden talscience.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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