VITAPAN EXCELL Premium Anterior Tooth Line Sets New Standard
As the denture market continues to grow, so too does patients' demand for the highest level of esthetics. With patient expectations in mind, VITA set out to develop a denture tooth that would stand above the rest-VITAPAN EXCELL.
"In modern dentistry, patients are looking for a denture that is youthful looking yet functional," says Jim McGuire, CDT, Direct, Technical Support & Education for VITA North America. "We looked at the denture teeth on the market, and they were what we considered an older style. They looked like denture teeth. Our primary purpose was to create a denture tooth that actually looked more natural-had the texture, the play of lights, the light transmission, and the reflection of light. We wanted it to look like a natural tooth, and to have the light bounce off it and interact with the material. We want it to look so youthful and natural that people cannot tell it is a denture tooth."
VITA tested various materials and layering effects, and enlisted the help of several dental laboratories and dentists for beta testing.
"After they created these test dentures, made the modifications, and made the dentures for these patients, then they went back and surveyed them to see what was good and what was bad," McGuire says. "After some tweaks and iterations, it was to the point where patients were satisfied with the esthetics. They were satisfied that it looked like natural dentition and not like their parents' dentures."
VITA works with some of the world's most respected and talented dental technicians and dentists, so the standards of the beta testing were extremely high.
"Most of these renowned technicians and dentists have real-life cases that do not always fit one mold," McGuire says. "There is not a generic denture that they see. There are patients who require certain occlusal setups for the denture. By having a group of experienced laboratory technicians and dentists who see a variety of different types of patients who require anything from a removable denture all the way to a fixed implant denture, we were able to gain valuable insights, especially on the transmission of light, because when you have a denture tooth and you set it in a denture, the light reflects through the pink acrylic, through that tooth, and vice versa through the tooth down into the pink acrylic, and it looks one way, but then when you put the same tooth onto a fixed implant bar, which is a grayish color, the light transmits differently through that tooth and into that framework. We were able to dial in exactly the translucency of this EXCELL denture tooth to make it a perfect match to be used in both removable and fixed implant dentures."
Tooth form was a significant consideration as well in the testing.
"We gathered intelligence to make sure the relationship between the centrals, laterals, cuspids, etc were in proportion to each other and individually the length of each individual tooth and the width of each tooth was more aligned with the natural tooth geometry. In the laboratory world, we hope to avoid having a lot of the pink acrylic visible when the patient smiles. Now these teeth provide a less gummy look and more of a smile."
VITA also incorporate asymmetry into the teeth to avoid them looking unnatural.
"Natural teeth are not always symmetrical with adjacent teeth," McGuire says. "There are very slight variations. In the past, they have been made like Chiclets-straight across on the edge, rectangular. We now make asymmetrical denture teeth, with are slight variations."
Now that VITAPAN EXCELL has been made available to the North American market publicly, the feedback has been extremely positive.
"Because they redid the contours and made the teeth fit the ridges better, we are getting good feedback that they are easily adapted to the denture cases they have," McGuire says. "Often, these denture cases have limited interdental, interarch space and occlusal space from the upper and the lower ridges. Laboratories like the benefit that we have recontoured the area to adapt better around the ridges. Less grinding is required and thus less setup time. All of our denture teeth now fit almost like Lincoln Logs, where the contacts align more naturally without a lot of effort by the technician.
"They like it because it fits naturally with their creativity, the artistry that they want to incorporate into their work. They don't have to really adjust or do much to these denture teeth to make them fit into their artistry."
VITAPAN EXCELL is made from only one material, which provides significant benefits.
"They are produced under a special process in which they are homogenous, even though they are a three-layer tooth to provide the layering necessary to make it look like a natural tooth, because a natural tooth has several layers of materials within one tooth-dentin and enamel primarily," McGuire says. "That is how we layer these teeth, but we produce them in one process and, therefore, they are better in terms of durability and wearability. They are more functional longer term, especially in implant cases."
To complement VITAPAN EXCELL anterior teeth, VITA also offers VITAPAN LINGOFORM for the posterior.
"With a beautiful, functional anterior, you also need the stability of the posteriors," McGuire says. "We usually use these in combination. They are an excellent fit. The posteriors are made out of the same material, but we also incorporate a freedom of movement and freedom of centric, so when the patient chews down, the teeth don't lock up, so the patient does not have a hard time chewing."
With VITAPAN EXCELL, clearly VITA has raised the bar for denture teeth.
"They are a premium tooth at an economic price," McGuire says. "They are an excellent tooth for all patients of all ages, which is ultimately our goal. If the patient is satisfied, the dentist and technician are satisfied."