Digital dentures or 3D printed dentures
Digital dentures are dentures that we fabricate through a digital process. We mill a digital denture from a puck via CAD-CAM but some more temporary version may use 3D printing technology. Millings has some better properties and is superior in terms of trueness to printing. Kalberer JPD 2019
What is a digital denture?
The two largest companies offering digital dentures right now are Pala dentures and AvaDent. We can 3D print or CAD CAM. Both technologies will continue to improve so it is hard to say what is better at any given time. Most likely the best technique will be the one that company or lab tech is using currently. 2 labs that print are Drake Labs and Oral Arts.
Why digital dentures?
One big reason is that the denture can be monolithic instead of an acrylic plate with teeth set into it. This greatly increases the strength.
3D printing and milling in theory should create the most accurate fit. Lee JPD 2017 has a case report showing how the use of PIP paste and ZOE cement helps increase the software’s ability to stitch.The hold up is still getting a digital impression of the soft tissue, especially in the movable areas.
Is there a clinical difference between traditional dentures and CAD CAM dentures?
Drago JPD 2019 finds no difference in number of return appointments for denture adjustments between injection molding and CAD CAM dentures.
Research on digital dentures
Pack and press, pour, injection and CAD-CAM were compared using AvaDent to check for accuracy. Overall the CAD CAM was the most consistent, but not in all areas. Goodacre 2016 JPD
The fit of CAD-CAM denture bases have better retention than heat-polymerized denture bases according AlHelal 2017 JPD. Along the same lines a milled denture also has better retention than a heat-activated resin base denture AlRumaih 2018 JPD.
Teeth movement is most accurate with CAD-CAM monolithic teeth according to Goodacre 2018 JPD.
Different examples of digital dentures
Kulzer who owns Pala dentures also makes True Fit through Oral Arts.
Case report of digital removable prosthesis.
In this case our lab could not get this traditional impression to work because the teeth would continually break. To capture the Trios scan we place PIP on the mucosa and sent a digital scan, which the lab uses to fabricate a 3D printed model. You can see how much better the 3D printed model is in comparison to the stone model. We made a duraflex removable prosthesis from this model.