Patients with missing teeth have the option to receive the latest in technology through digitally designed dentures or stick to traditional methods. With an analog workflow, dentures are hand-crafted to perfection. On the other hand, with the help of computer-aided design, technicians can have assistance with the beginning stages of the design process and then are able to use their creative artistry.
What is a dental denture?
Dentures are custom-made removable prosthetics designed to restore aesthetics and function in edentulous patients. They serve as a replacement for missing teeth and the surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures: complete and partials. Complete dentures are used for fully edentulous patients–or when all the teeth are missing from an arch. On the other hand, partial dentures are used when there are some remaining natural teeth left in the arch.
Complete full mouth dentures can be either fixed through implant-supported dentures and cement-retained dentures, or they can be fully removable. There are different types of implant-retained dentures, such as hybrid dentures, and locator overdentures. Partials can be broken down into further categories, including dental nesbits, dental flippers, and cast metal frameworks.
TRADITIONAL DENTURE FABRICATION
Despite many advances in medical technology, analog denture production still remains as the most common method for dentists to deliver dentures. The hand-crafted dentures are made of a flesh-colored acrylic base that fits securely over the gums and restorative teeth.
They require a series of complex clinical and laboratory procedures to achieve an accurate and comfortable fit. Multiple appointments are needed for molds, extractions, fittings, and adjustments.
Typical Analog Denture Procedure:
A common drawback of analog dentures is that multiple adjustments are needed, which also means multiple try-in sessions are needed with the patient. Additionally, if the denture breaks or is misplaced, the entire process needs to be repeated–starting with impressions. However, analog dentures can also be fabricated from digital scans via intraoral scanners. Digital scans are stored on file indefinitely, so the dentist can skip this step if a remake is needed.
DIGITAL DENTURE PROCESS
Digital Denture fabrication has enabled a shortened workflow for the lab and dentist, while increasing patient comfort. 3D-printed dentures can be fabricated from start to finish, meaning there are no try-ins during the manufacturing process at all. However, a wax or 3D-printed prototype can be tried-in if desired. After milling or 3D printing, the restoration is sent directly to the dentist. Typically, very few adjustments–if any–are needed. Digital dentures are reported to have a precise base fit, higher retention, and better suction, drastically reducing the number of fitting appointments.
Digital complete dentures that cover the full arch are created through 3D-printing denture technology. On the other hand, partial dentures can be digitally milled with CAD/CAM-powered milling machines.
Typical Digital Denture Procedure:
Clinically, digitally fabricated dentures have shown promising performance, due to the resin’s impressive fracture toughness. According to Jimmy Stegall of Dentsply Sirona, digital denture resin is about 2-3 times stronger in terms of fracture toughness when compared to conventional acrylics. The material has a higher survival rate and can withstand more pressure than traditional acrylic. Patients also benefit greatly from the digital workflow as turnaround time is significantly reduced and the fit is more accurate and comfortable. Moreover, the digital record helps to facilitate any reproduction needed as it is indefinitely stored in a digital file. Remakes can be done at a click of a button.
DENTURE LABS NEAR ME
The Dental Lab is a premium dental lab for dentures that makes both traditional analog dentures and digital dentures. If you're looking for a denture laboratory near me, look no further because we service all states throughout the nation. We are among the leading denture labs in America that provides both handcrafted analog dentures and 3D virtual printed digital dentures. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our products, please do not hesitate to contact us for dental and denture services. Our technicians are always available and willing to speak.
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