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Inside Dental Technology
February 2015
Volume 6, Issue 2

Digital Denture Systems: Timesaving Technology with High-Quality Results

Great esthetics and fit that you can deliver to patients

By B. J. Kowalski

While all of us at ROE Dental Laboratory are proud of our 90-year history, we are even more excited about our future. This is why we enthusiastically embrace new technology such as digital production. Our reputation has led to our being asked to test numerous digital systems, including the new Pala® Digital Denture system from Heraeus Kulzer.

This highly advanced technology uses CAD and 3D software to model dentures for a great fit with great esthetics that you can deliver to your dental customers in a fraction of the time required by conventional systems.

We have used the Pala Digital Denture system on 12 cases thus far, and I can tell you that it is an exciting technology that creates a high-quality, well-polished appliance and offers the potential to be a timesaver for laboratories, dental practices, and patients alike.

Here’s how the process works.

Using the Pala Digital Dentures impressions tray, the dentist captures not just the impression but the bite registration and vertical dimension as well—all in one visit. (This is a huge benefit to dentist and patient, as using a conventional approach typically requires these steps to take place over three visits.)

Once we receive the impression model, we scan it and forward the scan to Heraeus Kulzer.

Heraeus Kulzer creates 3D renderings—which serve as a permanent digital record—of the denture based on the impression’s anatomical landmarks, crafts the final denture, and sends it to us. (This benefits us; not having to worry about manufacturing the denture allows us to focus on other, potentially more profitable projects.)

We examine the denture and send it to the dentist.

The dentist places the denture with the patient. (Try-in and virtual evaluation steps are optional.)

The beauty of this technology is that it shows the final tooth position in the prototype for approval, so the bite registration and vertical dimension are approved upfront. Another advantage of the Pala Digital Denture System is that it uses Pala denture teeth, which are specifically made with and for CAD/CAM technology. Our laboratory has been a big advocate of Pala teeth for many years.

The final denture made with the Pala Digital Denture system looks—in my experience, at least—better than other digital systems’ dentures and as good as conventional dentures. Moreover, the entire process currently takes about 10 days.

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions contained in the preceding material are and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.

Key Takeaways

• Digital dentures can allow dentists to capture the impression, bite registration, and vertical dimension in a single patient visit
• The 3D rendering of the denture serves as a permanent digital record
• The manufacturer of the digital denture system can relieve the dental laboratory of the burden of creating the denture
• The esthetics of the digital dentures can be comparable to conventional dentures
• With digital dentures, try-in and virtual evaluation steps may be optional

B. J. Kowalski
ROE Dental Laboratory
Cleveland, OH

Heraeus Kulzer

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