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Inside Dental Technology
September 2014
Volume 5, Issue 9

Exceptional Dentures in the Spotlight

Making your laboratory’s products rise above expectations

By Jim Collis, CDT

For laboratories with removable departments, exceptional should be the standard, not just acceptable. Fabricating exceptional removable appliances certainly begins with selecting high-quality teeth and impact-resistant acrylic or resin, but those choices alone may not be enough to distinguish your laboratory’s casework from that of your competitor’s. Discerning dental practitioners and their patients seek appliances that recreate the look of natural dentition right down to the root eminences and color variations of normal gingival tissue. A simple, effective technique for naturalizing denture bases to yield more realistic coloration involves the application of Shofu’s Ceramage.

Ceramage is a line of color composites that can be applied to acrylic or resin. The Ceramage line of color composites is the best available on the market because of its unique composition of 73% zirconia, yielding excellent luster and strength, as well as providing beautiful, natural color translucency.


Naturalization is started with the processed denture in the arbor in a banded or roughened state to enhance chemical bonding. The initial step is to steam-clean the denture to remove any plaster, stone, silicone residue, or ultrasonic cleaning solution from the surface of the denture. To ensure a complete bond between the acrylic or resin surface of the denture and the Ceramage color composite, apply Shofu’s two-step Ceraresin Bond to prepare the denture surface. First, paint Ceraresin Bond 1 on all buccal surfaces being naturalized and allow to dry for about 15 seconds (Figure 1). Ceraresin Bond 1 etches the surface of the denture. Then apply Ceraresin Bond 2 to the same surface and light-cure for 3 minutes using Shofu’s Solidlite V or another standard light cure unit, provided that it contains a 300-watt halogen bulb or comparable light source.

Then select a shade of Ceramage color composite from among the various shades available, such as Ceramage Gum Color Kit Flowable Red (F-Red), to provide a good color contrast with the denture base (Figure 2). The Flowable Red should be thinned with 1 to 2 drops of Shofu Lite Art liquid so that it can be applied to the base like a translucent wash to the portions of the base where deeper coloration is desired (Figure 3). The wash should be applied one quadrant at a time (Figure 4) and then cured in Shofu’s Sublite V (or comparable light cure unit) for 10 seconds per quadrant.

Next, Ceramage Flowable White (F-White), in its undiluted state, is applied 1 to 2 teeth at a time to highlight the root eminences (Figure 5), and then promptly cured for 10 seconds before being allowed to flow too much. To imitate natural root anatomy, the root structure to the first molar should have two root eminences. Cuspid roots are slightly longer, wider at the collar and narrower at the apex. Laterals tend to have smaller root eminences, and centrals have longer roots than the laterals, but not as long or bulky as the cuspids.

Then, Ceramage Gum Color Kit Flowable Violet (F-Violet), thinned with 1 to 2 drops of Shofu Lite Art liquid, can be applied along the border of the denture one quadrant at a time and cured in Shofu’s Sublite V for 10 seconds per quadrant (Figure 6). All underlying colors will show through this translucent layer that simulates the darker unattached tissue.

At this point, because the Ceramage color composites have been hardened in place but not brought to a final cure, additional color composite of any color can be added and cured in place. Once the desired naturalization has been achieved, the entire surface of the denture is coated with air barrier and given a final light cure for 3 minutes using Shofu’s Solidlite V (Figure 7). The air barrier keeps oxygen from interacting with the composite during the final cure. Without this barrier, the cured surface will be tacky, brittle, and porous. Once the final 3-minute light cure has been completed, if more color composite is needed at this point, then all the steps must be repeated, starting with abrading the denture surface where more color composite will be added.

After the final cure, the next step is to remove the air barrier in an ultrasonic cleaner or with soap and a brush. The now fully naturalized denture can then be polished using your preferred method (Figure 8).

The Ceramage Gum Color Kit is available in numerous colors to match a wide array of gingival colors. Pictures of the oral cavity provided by the dentist will aid in the color selection from the Gum Color Kit and dictate the intensity of color variation. It should be noted that Ceramage also has a line of tooth color composites and the Lite Art Kit, a tooth naturalization kit, which can be applied to customize acrylic or composite teeth. These products are applied in a similar manner to the Ceramage Gum Color Kit.


The use of color composites from the Ceramage Gum Color Kit can greatly enhance the esthetics of the denture, making your laboratory’s work product rise to the exceptional standard.

About the author

Jim Collis, CDT, is the owner of Collis Prosthodontic Laboratory in Mount Prospect, Illinois.

For more information, contact:

Shofu Dental Corporation
P 800-827-4638

Disclaimer: The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.

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