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...See more 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.
A supporter of educational initiatives, Heraeus offers instructional videos free to dental teams and patients, teaching effective techniques and procedures.
LMT Senior Editor Maribeth Marsico attends Whip Mix Corp.'s Lab Advisory Council Meeting, which brought together a group of 10 laboratory owners and managers to brainstorm and debate topics.
As the dental industry moves toward increasing automation, the shift may be uncomfortable with painful adjustments for technicians and dentists alike. But those who don't get comfortable with automated...See more fabrication may have a difficult time remaining competitive in the future. Their choice may become: adapt or retire. I see three major trends in the next five to 10 years: Automated laboratory fabrication methods will take over and manual fabrication methods and use of impression materials will fall by the wayside. But as automated technologies increase, both dentists and technicians will still need to know the principles of dental restoration design and properties of the materials they use in order to achieve reliable longevity of their work. Automated clinical fabrication techniques will improve to the point where they become commonplace, especially for single-unit restorations. Right now CEREC and Evolution 4D have this market, but other players will come forth too. It's important to note there will always be a need for technicians, especially those who can create exquisite anterior esthetic restorations by hand. Also, I think there will be new opportunities for laboratory technicians, such as working in the dental offices managing the chairside fabrication process. Increasing efficiency will be essential. Because of the economy, patients are going to be very cost conscious and perhaps postpone treatment. Cost containment and working efficiently will be big factors, especially in the next one to two years. There are two ways to generate profit: (1) sell high volume at a moderate cost or (2) sell low volume at high cost. The question is the quality of the finished product. Automation promises the opportunity to produce consistent high volume with excellent quality. This should allow costs to patients to be more reasonable. Manual methods will remain for excellent esthetic cases for people who can afford the craftsmanship, time and expertise. For more about Digital Dentistry visit: Digital Dentistry: Just In Its Infancy Down is the New Up At $11 Billion By 2014, C&B Reigns Technician as Knowledge Czar A New World of Dental Materials Think in Terms of Two-to-Three Year ROI
Find Everything Impression Material on The BRIDGE!
The BRIDGE is an online network from LMT dedicated exclusively for members of the Dental Laboratory community. Join free to learn more about Impression Material and other products.