June 2016
Volume 37, Issue 6

Pala® Digital Dentures Create Better-Fitting Dentures Faster

Word of mouth does wonders, as Andrew M. MacConnell, DDS, can attest. When women in a nearby Sunday school saw and heard about the dental work on their friend who received Pala® Digital Dentures, they quickly became patients of MacConnell.

“I can deliver a denture that fits better and in fewer appointments,” says MacConnell, a private practitioner in Bluff City, Tennessee, who is thankful for the Pala Digital Denture system helping his bottom line. “Simply put, the Pala Digital Dentures fit better.”

MacConnell notes that the product also enables him to do his job better because the patient isn’t distracted by uncomfortable or protracted procedures associated with traditional denture-making processes. He is freed to concentrate on phonetics, esthetics, movements, contacts, and other essential aspects.

“Once the patients try in the Pala Digital Dentures, they immediately feel the retention and stability that they would get with a final denture. They relax and let us accomplish the purpose of the try-in appointment,” he says.

As part of the Heraeus Kulzer family, Pala Digital Dentures offer advanced denture solutions, leveraging innovative CAD/CAM dental technology to quickly produce more accurate, comfortable dentures. This saves practitioners time and enhances productivity—seeing patients just two or three times—while increasing patient satisfaction. Chairtime is reduced from 5 or more hours to about 1 to 2 hours, with an average processing time of about 10 days (compared with 30 days for conventional dentures).

“The era of the old handmade plaster wax model for constructing a denture with bilateral functioning occlusion made with repeated duplicated accuracy with each case requiring 5 procedures is rapidly being replaced by CAD/CAM dentures,” says MacConnell, who has practiced dentistry for more than 30 years. “The two appointments allow us to have the initial appointment for impressions and jaw relations, and then a second delivery appointment in a surgical setting to attach the Pala Digital Denture to implants.”

Nearly 19% of adults aged 65 and older were edentulous between 2011 and 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Edentulism was twice as prevalent among adults aged 75 and older (26%) compared with adults aged 65 to 74 (13%). MacConnell estimates most of these older adults have dentures rather than implants.

“Pala Digital Dentures are a great way to transition edentulous patients back into an implant-stabilized dentition,” MacConnell asserts. “The limits are endless for Pala Digital Dentures. With dentures you have a chewing force of approximately 70 pounds per square inch, and with implant-supported prostheses, it’s approximately 480 pounds per square inch, compared to the natural dentition, which is 510 pounds per square inch.”

MacConnell no longer worries about denture bases that have areas of thinness, which could increase the risk for weakness or potential fracture points, he says. The Pala Digital Denture base has uniformity. Additionally, he says, the patient’s dentition and record is digitally stored, so if the dentures become lost, replacement is much simpler.

MacConnell says he found the cost reasonable, especially considering the efficiencies it affords him in appointments and chairtime. “It costs $200 to get the office set up for six cases of Pala Digital Dentures,” he says. “The dental lab takes on the upfront cost for the laser scanning of the scannable Heraeus Kulzer polyvinyl siloxane (PVS) impression material. I charge the same for the Pala Digital Denture as I do my standard denture. It takes fewer appointments, and I can deliver a far superior product to patients with fewer post-delivery adjustments.”

The clinician can accomplish both impressioning and capturing the jaw relation in a single appointment using segmented impression trays that have a slot assembly designed to support a central bearing device. The digital denture kit includes trays of four sizes (to match the arch), scannable PVS impression materials, a lip ruler, jaw gauge, a Pala tracer to help guide the clinician when finding centric relation, and complete clinical support documentation.

The dental team sends the impressions and other clinical documentation to the local laboratory for scanning. Then the Pala Digital Center receives the scans or STL files along with photographs and a complete documentation checklist. At the processing center, the information is used to develop the denture design. This is used to print a stereolithographic prototype, which is sent to the dentist for a traditional denture try-in appointment. The final denture is then manufactured at the Pala Digital Center, using a proprietary injection process with traditional materials.

“If you are sitting in the corner with an ill-fitting set of teeth eating mashed potatoes and mushed peas, you’re not going to have a good quality of life,” MacConnell says. “The fit of the Pala Digital Dentures is so much better. The way we change people’s lives is unbelievable.”

Heraeus kulzer
300 Heraeus Way
South Bend, IN 46614

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