Digital Denture Insiders: Jimmy Stegall
Jimmy Stegall helped grow an eight-person laboratory to 135 employees and three locations, occupying every role from technician to sales to operations and management over the course of nearly 4 decades. Now, as a National Account Strategy Manager for Dentsply Sirona, he supports laboratory and clinical customers by drawing on that wealth of knowledge and experience. Over the past year, much of his focus has been on a new workflow that he believes could be as impactful for the laboratory profession as the introduction of zirconia was: the Lucitone Digital Print Denture workflow.
1. What impact has the Lucitone Digital Print Denture workflow made since its launch last year?
The demand has been incredibly high. Milled dentures have provided great quality but take much longer to produce. Printing is much faster and has minimal waste. Carbon and Dentsply Sirona spent several years developing the Lucitone Digital Print Denture workflow, and they really got it right—it is extremely easy to learn and provides a predictable way to scale up production. A team of five denture technicians should produce 24 dentures per 8-hour shift using traditional techniques; the Lucitone Digital Print Denture workflow using the Carbon printer can generate 32 arches in the same time. Quality is not sacrificed, either. When dental professionals see these dentures, they do not say, "That's a Lucitone Digital denture." They say, "That is a good-looking denture." That should tell us something.
2. Is the Lucitone Digital Print Denture strong?
The resin has twice the fracture resistance as our traditional acrylic once it reaches body temperature. We see folks all over the country dropping these dentures from three-story buildings or running over them with trucks, with very few breaking.
3. What makes Dentsply Sirona's inLab SW 20 great for the Lucitone Digital Print Denture workflow?
Many of the tools that other software programs offer are embedded in the programming of the inLab software. In today's world, when finding skilled technicians is so difficult, you need those advantages to scale up and be productive. In particular, when you scan the upper model, lower model, and wax rim, the software automatically aligns it, recognizes the anatomical landmarks (with other software, you manually click 14 spots); and marks the borders. With those automated steps, the technician is already three screens ahead of other programs when using inLab SW 20.
4. How does it help to utilize carded denture teeth for these dentures?
That is the coolest part of the workflow. No one has yet invented a printable tooth material that matches the strength and esthetics of carded teeth. The IPN 3D teeth look great; they are strong, resist wear, and have occlusion that is engineered correctly. You simply select the upper six anteriors and the inLab software selects the rest. With traditional dentures, we need to remount the dentures on an articulator, tap them together, and grind in the occlusion to account for processing error. A printed denture base with bonded teeth has the occlusion already engineered. We can move teeth in the software, and the opposing arch moves with it to maintain proper occlusion. I look at Lucitone Digital Print like this: At the end of the day, it is a terrific denture that is stronger, easier to fabricate, and as esthetic as anything we have previously made; it is just made differently. It is the state of the art, and there is nothing else like it right now.