Digital dentistry is the hot topic these days in both publications and lectures - and for good reason; it’s the future of dentistry. Hardware technology and software programing are moving forward at a torrid pace and are actually evolving faster than the industry’s ability to absorb. At ROE we work hard to stay current on digital technology, providing our clients industry- leading restorations manufactured to the highest standards. Currently, through our iRis system, we digitally produce over 65% of our products, and every month find better ways to fabricate restorations with this technology. We have been anxious to convert our manufacturing processes because digital technology allows us to produce stronger, more consistent and precise restorations with faster turnaround times, often at a lower cost. We have recently moved the fabrication of our provisional restorations into the digital age with results that you’ll be excited to learn about.
|Virtual Diagnostic to be Milled In PMMA|
Laboratory fabricated provisionals have always presented challenges - the need for chairside additions, relining with limited material thickness, and insufficient material choices, all inhibit optimal esthetics and strength. Denture teeth bonded together with acrylic are esthetic, but usually do not offer long-term strength. Light-cured composites are a possibility; however, they can be difficult to reline and even harder to add-to or modify chairside. Processed acrylic has traditionally been the best compromise.
With the use of CAD/CAM technology, ROE is now offering provisional restorations fabricated from a special dense, porosity-free polymethylmethacrylate commonly called PMMA, which is milled in our industrial milling machines. Technicians use our powerful CAD system to design ideal anatomy and contours with materials much stronger than hand-mixed acrylic.
The benefits extend beyond strength and contours. Using our CAD/CAM system we can digitize a preoperative model or diagnostic wax-up and superimpose it over a study cast. This process allows us to maintain beneficial contours and precisely duplicate a patient-approved diagnostic work-up. Due to the strength of the material we are able to mill single unit shells and even full arch bridges as thin as 1/2mm. Once the milling is complete we characterize the units with stain and, when needed, customize with layering materials, particularly when incisal translucency is requested.
When extra-strong, long-term provisionals are required, these shells can be reinforced internally with a CAD metal substructure. Both the outer shell and the inner reinforcement are fabricated using the same digital technology. Due to the accuracy of the fabrication process, the combined layers can be made thinner than hand-fabricated, metal-reinforced temporaries. We also recently started using alternative reinforcement materials in lieu of cast metal. Fiber reinforcement (FiberForce) and Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) are durable materials with high flexural strength. And, since both are white, they can be easily hidden within the provisional. Our fees for provisional restorations with this technology remain a bargain - just $30 per unit or $65 per unit with either of the reinforcement options.