What are digital dentures?
The conventional denture process typically requires a patient to have 5 or more dental appointments to receive his or her final dentures. This can be problematic and time-consuming. Fortunately, the same CAD/CAM processes that have been simplifying restorative dentistry are also now enhancing and streamlining the procedures associated with denture fabrication. For example, using CAD/CAM technology, once an impression is taken by the denturist, the 3-D renderings of a denture are created based on 26 specific anatomical landmarks captured in the impression. A final denture can then be fabricated to precise standards. Only one patient visit is needed before final denture delivery, compared to the 5 or more visits previously required.
What are the benefits of digital dentures?
Digital dentures offer digital precision for an exceptional fit and no more loose dentures. Not only is the denture quality improved, but also the lead time (and therefore turnaround time for the final denture) and costs associated with dentures are greatly reduced. The multiple appointments with the patient and associated materials involved with conventional dentures can be eliminated. Because all the information necessary to design an accurate, comfortable, well-fitting, aesthetic denture is captured in one visit and stored in a digital format, a permanent digital record is maintained that can be used in the future if a replacement or duplicate denture is required.
Summary of benefits:
- Digital precision for greater denture fit and comfort
- Fewer appointments
- Greater aesthetic accuracy for a more natural-looking smile
- Digital backup offers quicker, accurate replacement dentures
What is the process of getting digital dentures?
During the first patient visit, the denturist will take impressions of our bite which are then converted into digital files using a 3D scanner. This initial appointment requires less than 45 minutes of chair time.
Using the digital files, special 3D denture design software conceptualized the ideal arch shape, teeth size, and shade to generate a micron-precise ideal denture setup. This 3D prototype model is reviewed by your denturist prior to 3D printing.
Once the design is finalized, the digital denture models are loaded into a 3D printer to create a denture prototype.
During the second patient appointment, the 3D printed prototype denture is placed in the patient’s mouth and closely evaluated to ensure that all previous measurements, information, and adjustments were replicated. The patient’s ability to speak and chew is verified, and any adjustments are made, if necessary. From an aesthetics perspective, the smile-line, lip support, and denture teeth set-up were also evaluated.
Most importantly, you the patient can evaluate and determine if the dentures are a perfect fit.
The approved and final denture is then produced and delivered to the patient during a third and final visit.
Total chair time and appointment time throughout the process is typically less than 90 minutes.
As a result, not only was the entire process shortened, but greater denture fit, comfort, and aesthetic accuracy are also achieved with this new digital denture technique.
Who is a good candidate for digital dentures?
Clearly, the future of dentures is digital and almost anyone who is a candidate for dentures who appreciate the benefits of digital dentures. An ideal candidate is a man or woman who has experienced significant tooth loss and still has a sufficient amount of healthy gum tissue and jawbone.