My how things are changing in the world of dentures and removable partial dentures. The analog technology over the past 50 years is rapidly being replaced by digital. It is getting easier and easier to get a digital scan and design the removable on the computer and print it out on a milling machine. In some cases, we still may elect to take a traditional impression and we still have to cast the chrome-cobalt framework for the partial denture, but the entire design process is digital.
I recently completed a lower implant overdenture that was designed 100% digitally with a digital try-in and the entire denture printed on a carbon 3-D printer with the very best IPN teeth and lucitone acrylic. I also recently completed my first high technology polymer framework (not metal) called Ultaire AKP which was made into an upper partial denture. The clasps are a little thicker, but they can be stained the color of teeth and it is much lighter than the traditional chrome-cobalt metal framework. The clasps can’t be tightened like metal, but if it fits good it never again needs to be adjusted and the fit is incredible.
We also have clear polymer clasps that can be used on anterior teeth in place of the metal ones. They are much more esthetic, but not as easy to adjust. So, there are advantages and disadvantages to this new technology.
For more temporary removables we are using a “flexible” material that actually bends and adjusts itself and is much more comfortable than the regular acrylic “flippers” as we call them. New technology and materials are constantly evolving rapidly and it is hard to keep up.
For many of our patients, removable dentures and partials are just what the doctor ordered. If you have any questions about the world of removables, please let us know on our website where you can send in your questions or make an appointment to go over your options and particular situation.