Have you heard of Digital Denture? With this process, you can create full dentures digitally and simplify your work. Read all about it in this interview and find out where the benefits for you as a user lie. We interviewed Martina Specht, Thomas Baaske and Antonio Ferilli from the marketing department "Digital Removable Prosthetics" at Ivoclar Vivadent in Schaan/Liechtenstein.
What does Digital Denture stand for?
Antonio Ferilli: Digital Denture is a complete manufacturing process for the fast, digital manufacturing of removable dentures. This new innovative process links the digital production in the laboratory with established dental treatment steps. An exclusively developed design software, ideally coordinated materials together with special production strategies and the modern milling machine platform PrograMill guarantee reliable and consistent results.
How did you get the idea to digitalize the production of full dentures?
Antonio Ferilli: Basically, it was obvious. Digitization has been a topic in dental technology for more than 20 years. The wide spectrum of what can be produced digitally - or with digital support - is increasing from year to year. For this reason, it seemed logical for us to use the possibilities CAD/CAM offers for full dentures. It is precisely here that many complex working steps are required in the manual process. With digital processes, a lot can be simplified and speeded up.
What is the real benefit of Digital Denture to the dental technician?
Antonio Ferilli: For one, it saves time. In concrete terms, it can reduce the working time by about half. An equally important point is the reproducibility: The data is available digitally. And the quality always remains the same, because the machine and software take over many working steps in a validated process. But of course, the dental technician is still indispensable: He operates the software, and his expertise is essential. For example, he has to position the teeth or tooth segments in relation to the jaw so that the function is correct. Man and technology complement one another - a strong cooperation. This leads to even better results and even more satisfied patients.
Which material is used for Digital Denture, and what is it?
Thomas Baaske: There is a pink disc and a tooth-coloured disc: The denture base material is called IvoBase CAD and the dental material is called SR Vivodent CAD. We offer the denture base material in our well-proven and known shades. It is particularly resistant to breakage and fulfils the standard values for impact-resistant prosthetic acrylics.
SR Vivodent CAD, on the other hand, consists of a DCL material, which we also use on some of our conventional tooth lines. It combines the advantages of PMMA with those of composites. That means: This material has very low affinity to plaque and high abrasion stability. This is made possible by different organic fillers.
In addition, the teeth are manufactured in a block in our new process. This stabilizes the CAD/CAM dentures in comparison to conventional dentures made from individual teeth. The stability of the dentures with SR Vivodent CAD is therefore great.
How esthetic is this industrially manufactured material?
Thomas Baaske: The esthetics is equivalent to that of multi-layered conventional prosthetic teeth in A-D shades. We achieved this by adjusting the opacity of the SR Vivodent CAD discs in such a way that we meet the required tooth shade ideally in terms of opacity and translucency. The front teeth become thinner towards the incisal edge. That is why they seem more translucent. In the cervical area of the tooth, where the teeth are thicker, there is a higher level of opacity. We have optimized this in such a way that we are able to achieve a great natural tooth shade in fully contoured teeth with this monochromatic material. The teeth produced with Digital Denture are therefore very esthetic and lifelike.
If additional characterization such as incisal fractures are desired, dental technicians can work with the light-curing laboratory composite SR Nexco.
About the software: Which variations do you offer?
Antonio Ferilli: The Digital Denture module enables a fast, simple process with the two material discs. There is also a premium version called "Digital Denture Professional". This module focuses on the clinical field, which is also very important. In this version, the patient-specific clinical data - which had been previously recorded using various clinical auxiliaries - can be transferred to the software. Subsequently, the denture can be made either with individual, prefabricated teeth - or with the dental arch, which is milled from the SR Vivodent CAD material disc.
Did you collaborate with external users in the development of digital dentures?
Martina Specht: Yes, we collaborated with several beta testers from the beginning. These are experienced dental technicians from Germany, Italy, France, USA and Australia. The first tests were carried out in 2014. The focus of the tests was on the various components of the digital denture, e.g. the software, the material and the manufacturing process. The beta testers accompanied the whole development. Their feedback and wishes flowed into our work. This close collaboration and hands-on opportunity was important to us. After all, Digital Denture was developed for users.
What are the prerequisites for dental technicians to be able to enter into the Digital Denture world?
Martina Specht: The process is deliberately very flexible. We developed different models for the introduction, adapted to the differently equipped laboratories. In general, the dentures can be processed with a 3Shape scanner and an existing Zenotec Select system or using our new PrograMill systems. The labs have the option to test the software using CAD points, which can be purchased at 3Shape.
What types of dentures can be made with Digital Denture?
Antonio Ferilli: Digital Denture is not only suitable for complete full upper and lower dentures, but also for single full dentures, e.g. either the upper or the lower jaw. In addition, duplicate and immediate full dentures can be produced. In short: A wide range of indications is possible.
Would you like to find out more about the Digital Denture process? Ivoclar Digital is a competent digital partner, who supports dentists and dental technicians along the entire digital process chain. A great deal of importance is placed on simple and understandable procedures.
SR Vivodent, IvoBase and SR Nexco are registered trademarks of Ivoclar Vivadent AG. The availability of certain products may vary from country to country.