For those of you who couldn’t make it to Baltimore last week, this was one of the best meetings I have attended in quite some time. I learned so much and will share some of it here. What was most amazing, in over 40 years in dental technology I have never seen some much enthusiasm, hype, and interest in dentures.
First, Drs. Goodacre and Goodacre (father and son) showed conclusive evidence that TRIOS scanning of edentulous ridges provides a superior fitting denture when compared to conventional impressions. This has always been a big question in my mind as I was thinking it’s best to impression the soft tissue under load as if a denture were in place. When impressioning digitally the tissue is static. Well, it turns out that capturing the static soft tissue with an intraoral scanner results in decreased post denture insertion soreness and more accurate fitting dentures. That said, while scanning the maxilla seems relatively easy, the mandible appears to be somewhat more challenging.
Next up; Lee Culp, who almost immediately said “very soon there will be no denture teeth.” And I agree to a point. I would suggest ‘very soon’ would be in the 4-5 year time frame when there will be very few full dentures fabricated with conventional denture teeth. Lee also showed his first ever denture, digitally fabricated with some analog contouring. As you can imagine it was beautiful, no conventional denture teeth and an appliance we should all try to emulate.
Another notable speaker is Dr. Valerie Cooper who is scanning lips when doing anterior cases. This provides us so much additional info when designing anterior cases. Then Justin Marks spoke more about partial dentures using 3D print technology for SLM CrCo partials as well as milling PEEK. From my perspective we are now doing the same using acetal resin which is much more esthetic than PEEK, is available in tooth-colored shades and mills beautifully. Then there was a presentation on the Baltic denture. This system includes purchasing a pink disc with denture teeth already set into the disc. Available in small medium and large setups, although I’m not sure if this can really work for many patients.
There were so many other great lecturers that reinforced the viability of digital dentures and 100% probability of digital dentures being THE way to manufacture moving forward. Several people presented shortened protocols reducing numbers of appointments to get to the final prosthesis. Some were claiming two appointments for delivery of the final restoration. Other showed 3-4 appointment protocols. There were also several existing digital denture solutions discussed and exhibited. Some good and others that in my opinion will not make it long term.
In conclusion, anyone who is producing dentures must pay close attention to the digitalization of this product. The time is rapidly approaching and I believe at LAB DAY Chicago we will see much more innovation and more comprehensive, practical cost-effective approaches.
For more information on digital denture workflows download my new eBook, Time to Automate Your Removable Lab.
Thanks for reading.
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