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Digital Dentures: The Future of Dentures

July 13, 2022
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Posted By: Sullivan Dental Partners
woman getting dentures in brentwood tn

Many people assume dentures are only suitable for the older generation. However, continuous innovations in dentistry have made dentures and tooth replacements more modern than ever. Digital dentures are one of these state-of-the-art technologies.

At Sullivan Dental Partners, our team continually implements new and clinically-proven technologies and methods for optimal treatment outcomes. Are you interested in digital dentures in Brentwood, TN? Please get in touch with Sullivan Dental Partners today to learn more! 

Since 1934, dentists and laboratory technicians have used traditional reserve imaging to fabricate acrylic dentures. Dental professionals have recently chosen a newer, more precise methodology to replace this conventional approach.

Digital dentures have revolutionized the fabrication and manufacturing of dentures, so they fit more precisely and need fewer adjustments. 

What Exactly Are Digital Dentures?

Digital dentures are becoming increasingly popular with modern dental laboratories and practitioners. Digital dentures are created using computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology.

Unlike traditional dentures, digital dentures use scanned impressions and bite registrations for more precise fitting. When your dental professional captures digital impressions, they transmit them to a denture laboratory, where a specialist crafts the restoration. Digital denture technology includes manufacturing dentures using either 3-D printing or milling.

Digital Dentures vs. Traditional Dentures

Compared to traditional dentures, digital dentures are considered less labor-intensive for dental professionals and less invasive for patients. Patients with digital dentures generally don’t need as many adjustment appointments as those with traditional dentures.

Digital dentures also have reduced processing time, use digital scanning and CAD/CAM technology, and are more precise than conventional dentures that use manual molds and processing.

Research also shows that CAD/CAM produces dentures with a more precise and comfortable fit for patients. Also, digital dentures can create custom-made dentures more quickly and affordably than traditional manufacturing, according to the American Dental Association

How Do 3-D Printers Make Digital Dentures?

3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, constructs three-dimensional objects from high-quality acrylic or resin material using a computer-aided design or digital 3-D model. A 3-D printer produces the dentures layer by layer, in increments, until the restoration’s build is complete.

The denture includes a base plate and teeth that are custom-designed to fit the patient’s unique dental arch and curvature of their mouth. 

What Does the Digital Denture Process Involve?

After the dentist collects detailed scans and records of the patient’s mouth, they use advanced software to virtually create your custom dentures. The denture laboratory then uses 3-D printing or milling to fabricate the dentures. 

Here’s the process in more detail:

Your dentist starts by performing a thorough oral examination, including digital radiography. We also establish a bite record and use digital scanners to capture your intraoral anatomy. Next, we submit these digitized scans to the denture laboratory.

A denture specialist fabricates your dentures to meet our exact specifications so you can have a healthy, beautiful smile again in no time. After your dentures are printed, the denture pieces are sanitized, and the technician affixes the denture teeth to their respective base plate. Finally, the technician finishes the process by curing and polishing the restoration. 

The lab uses digital denture technology to create a mock-up for the patient to try on before finalizing the denture. Your dentist can modify the mock-up chairside for the desired result, and once we return it to the lab, the denture team will create the final restoration for an exact fit. 

When we receive the final denture, you’ll come to our dental office so we can place them and have a look at your new grin. During this appointment, we ensure the dentures look, feel, and function exactly as they should, and you can finally enjoy your new and improved smile! 

How Much Do 3-D Printed Dentures Cost?

Many people wonder, “How much do digital dentures cost?” Digital dentures offer the denture wearer and the dentist better overall value for money because the denture specifications are digitally stored and can be easily recreated at a lower cost. Conventional dentures, on the other hand, take longer to design and fabricate and also require intermediate visits for fittings and adjustments. 

Depending on the denture quality and geographic location, digital dentures can cost between $500 and $2,000 per arch. But it’s important to remember that the cost of 3-D printed dentures may vary due to a patient’s unique needs and preferences. Your dentist can speak with you in more detail about the cost of your specific denture treatment. 

What Materials Are 3-D Printed Dentures Made From?

Printed dentures are typically made from light-cured methacrylate resin. Digital denture specialists use gum-shaded resin for the denture base plates to look natural in the mouth.

Similarly, the tooth-colored resin is selected and used to fabricate the denture teeth. Using the VITA shade guide, the dentist helps the patient perfectly match their teeth and base, seamlessly blending and appearing completely natural.

Contact Us About Digital Dentures in Brentwood, TN

Sullivan Dental Partners collaborates with a prestigious dental lab to produce beautiful, perfectly-fitting digital dentures in Brentwood, TN. If you are looking for an alternative to traditional dentures, please call us today. We’re happy to speak with you about your options at our Brentwood dental office, including digital dentures.

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