Inside Dental Technology
3DRPD USA’s Laser-Sintered Denture Components
Utilizing new technology to create a superior final product
For the last several years, the dental industry revolution pushed forward by computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) has been transforming the buccal health universe. The precision and consistency offered by CAD/CAM products is getting better with every technological upgrade, setting standards that were previously unthinkable when relying on hand-made manufacturing techniques. While these changes have improved dental technology processes, if one were to critique this evolution, it would be pertinent to discuss the omission of changes in the removables field. Other than recent developments in implants, the majority of technological advantages were focused on the fixed restoration sector (crowns and bridges).
The process of producing removable partial denture frameworks has required the use of the same materials—chrome-cobalt (CrCo) and acrylic—for quite some time. The complexity associated with replacing these materials is one of the main causes for the lack of interest displayed in the development of new procedures from the CAD/CAM dental community. For the past 5 years, 3DRPD has been working in association with worldwide leaders in the laboratory industry to apply guidelines towards the development of new technologies in the removable sector.
3DRPD started by manufacturing plastic patterns using digital files. After a while, the company realized that the advantages provided by CAD/CAM technology did not necessarily apply when creating removable prosthetics. This was because even after manufacturing superb plastic patterns, technicians still had to go back to the Stone Age and sprue, invest, cast, and devest each individual prosthetic. From that point, 3DRPD decided to move in another direction, which involved laser sintering their restorations with chrome-cobalt.
Research and development in the three sectors of digital dentistry—scanning, design, and manufacturing—were necessary for the realization of this project.
3DRPD found a way to simplify the process of full model scanning in order to achieve the same parallelism quality of physical models with articulators, but with virtual models.
Regarding design, 3DRPD focused their efforts on executing optimal designs for each individual component of a denture framework, including the rests, clasps retention grids, and minor and major connectors. The consistency and precision offered by design software gave 3DRPD the chance to set their own nominal values, which then allowed the company to set new, higher universal standards.
The physical and metallurgic characteristics of chrome-cobalt were a major part of 3DRPD’s project. As opposed to other CAD/CAM processes used when manufacturing crowns and bridges, there is no way to mill a partial denture from a chrome-cobalt puck. As such, the company chose to manufacture frameworks via laser sintering. Once laser sintering became 3DRPD’s established manufacturing method, the company streamlined their processes in order to manufacture on a large scale.
New Quality Standards
For 3DRPD, the CAD/CAM process has significantly transformed partial denture framework manufacturing, allowing the company to establish new quality standards for the industry.
Disclaimer: The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.
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3DRPD USA Inc.