Digital dentures are dentures that are created from start to finish…digitally.
The impressions are done using digital scanning of the mouth, and the dentures are designed, based on these scans, in a computer and then printed using 3D printing technology
The term “digital” in digital dentures is used to describe the workflow involved in the fabrication of a CAM or CAD milled full denture. It is a new system for creating removable dentures. Digital dentures provide a better fit and ultimate comfort, and they are more flexible than traditional dentures.
How Are Digital Dentures Made
Digital dentures are made using software, innovative devices, and dentist-convenient materials. The digital denture technique can accurately capture the vertical dimension and the occlusal plane during the first appointment. The impression of your gums and teeth are digitally scanned in the lab using a 3D scanner. In some digital impression systems, your teeth are lightly dusted with specially formulated titanium dioxide powder in order to scan both arches and bite.
Currently, there are two types of digital impression technology. One type captures images as digital photographs, and the other type captures images as videos, providing dentists and dental laboratories with a series of images. The imaging is done by laser, which is safe and highly precise. The concentrated laser beam is used to capture a 3D image of the gum and teeth and eliminates the need to hold unpleasant and distasteful material in the mouth. Depending on the technology used, the digital impression of prepared teeth takes approximately 2 minutes, and the impression of the opposite arch takes only 1 minute.
The data collected from the scan is transferred to the design software. Then, the software helps to create digital try-in dentures by conceptualizing the perfect arch shape and occlusal plane as well as the size and shape of the tooth based on the scanned data and information provided by the lab technician. The technician can fine-tune the try-in dentures for occlusion and tooth positions and reline them with traditional impression material.
Any modifications required are scanned and merged with the original scan to assist in the fabrication of the final dentures.
Benefits of Digital Dentures
Digital dentures provide substantial benefits to patients, which include:
The CAM/CAD computing technology allows dentists to create dentures with accurate spacing, smile line, and patient’s bite. The technology ensures a better-fitting denture that will not become loose, fall out, or cause any discomfort in the mouth.
Digital dentures are made of high-quality acrylic material processed under high pressure and temperature for tremendous strength. Also, digital dentures are created from a single acrylic unit, and they have no bonding.
Making traditional dentures can take up to a month, whereas the process of making custom digital dentures takes only one or two weeks.
Traditional dentures require multiple appointments for extractions, impressions, fittings, and adjustments. However, digital dentures require only two visits to a dentist. During the first visit, your impression is scanned, and a 3D model is made. Then, you will have to go to the dentist to pick up your final dentures.
You do not have to worry even if your dentures are lost or damaged. Your denture can be recreated at any point, as the design was digitally scanned and transferred to the software. In most circumstances, you will have to wait for just two days to receive your replacements.
Digital dentures can help you save some cash, as they require fewer visits to a dentist. Additionally, they do not require frequent adjustments.