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A Knowledgeable Implant Prosthetics Partner for Laboratories of Any Size
PREAT helps laboratories provide high-quality digital restorations
By Robert Hicks, CDT, TE, MICOI, MLT
My business relationship with PREAT Corporation spans more than 25 years, which is about as long as my business has been involved in the fabrication of implant prosthetics. In that time, I’ve seen implant dentistry evolve from analog, hand-made restorations to digital. PREAT has evolved along with implant dentistry. The company has the attachments, implant components, fabrication processes, and knowledge to be a great business partner. This allows me, as a small laboratory owner, to utilize digital technology when it makes sense for me, without a huge capital investment.
PREAT’s Prism Design and Manufacturing Center is a fantastic service for the design and fabrication of implant bars and hybrid-type restorations. With any implant case, it is important to understand that every patient is different and every case has its own unique set of issues. No cookie-cutter design will work for all patients. Our communication starts with a verified-accurate master model, diagnostic wax-up, and work authorization sheet. The work authorization sheet is not merely a prescription but an understanding of whom the patient is, and his or her expectations for the function of the prosthesis. The goal is always to make the prosthesis fit the patient, not to attempt to make the patient fit the prosthesis. Once the model is scanned, the case is designed and emailed for approval. Once approved, the fabrication process takes about a week.
Whether the case is a bar overdenture or fixed hybrid, I always have a choice in the fabrication process between additive laser machining (ALM) or 5-axis milling. ALM is a 3D printing process that builds the bar, layer by layer, from the bottom up. Laser melting by layers creates an ultra-fine grain structure in the titanium alloy (Ti Al6O4) and makes the framework incredibly strong. For hybrid bars, ALM can create a honeycomb pattern for mechanical retention of acrylic. PREAT calls this “the pearl effect.” For bar overdentures, many attachment options and configurations are available, depending on the specifics of the case. First and foremost, my partners at PREAT are attachment experts.
As an implant consultant, I’m often asked where one could obtain a comprehensive implant education. My answer is simple: Education has always been an important part of the PREAT business model. Owners Tom and Chris Bormes have achieved Masterships with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and are excellent lecturers and educators. Sit in the front row of one of their lectures and take good notes—that’s a great start.
Disclaimer: The statements and opinions contained in the preceding material are not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.
› PREAT’s attachments, implant components, fabrication processes, and knowledge help small laboratories utilize digital technology without a huge capital investment
› Prism Design and Manufacturing Center’s communication starts with a verified-accurate master model, diagnostic wax-up, and work authorization sheet
› Laboratories have a choice in the fabrication process between additive laser machining (ALM) or 5-axis milling
› Education is an important part of the PREAT business model
About the Author
Robert Hicks, CDT, TE, MICOI, MLT
Hicks Dental Laboratory
Port Huron, MI