ANALOG VS. DIGITAL DENTURE FABRICATION
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 Workflow:
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 FABRICATION
Digital Denture fabrication has enabled a shortened workflow for the lab and dentist, while increasing patient comfort. Digital dentures can be fabricated from start to finish, meaning there are no try-ins during the manufacturing process at all. However, a wax or 3dD-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.
Typical Digital Denture Workflow:
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.
How Can The Dental Lab Help?
The Dental Lab in Bristol, Pennsylvania is a full-service dental lab with over 35 years of business. We are a leading lab 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 and services, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our technicians are always available and willing to speak.
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Angel Chang is a Drexel University graduate with a background in Marketing. She has experience with digital analytics, SEO, social media management, content creation, copywriting, and web development.