Inside Dental Technology
Heraeus Kulzer’s PALA® cre-active® helps dental laboratories stand out
Tempe, Arizona-based Van Hook Dental Studio has a national reputation for innovative techniques and a highly artistic approach to developing customized crowns, laminates, fixed, and removable full-mouth reconstructions. In everything it does, the studio prides itself on its attention to detail. In short, Van Hook Dental Studio is just the kind of dental laboratory one would expect to use new PALA® cre-active®, an innovative light-curing color fluid system used for the customized characterization of dentures.
Recently launched by Heraeus Kulzer, PALA cre-active is designed to help dental laboratories economically and efficiently provide their customers with remarkably natural-looking, individually characterized full, partial, and implant-retained dentures.
The PALA cre-active system includes six fluid colors (including white, polar, pink, red, maroon, black) and six gingiva materials (pink, shade 200, R50, light pink, clear, and gum) to create a highly natural, realistic appearance when individualizing dentures and prostheses. The system is universally manageable due to the structural viscosity of the liquid stains. PALA cre-active color fluids can be mixed into the cre-active gingiva material as color-intensifying agents. Due to the availability of both paste and liquid consistencies and six different color shades, highly customized gingival regions can be created featuring smooth or stippled surfaces with transparent, light red, or dark red effects.
Albert Garces, supervisor at Van Hook Dental Studio, has been working with cre-active for 2.5 months. In his opinion, PALA cre-active represents a huge advance over the gingival shading system he had been using, which was designed primarily for use with porcelain and was far from ideal for bonding with acrylics. “With PALA cre-active, I can define color much better,” he says. “I’m able to overlap colors like you can with a painting, and create special hues and degrees of brightness that were never possible before.”
Today’s laboratory professionals are artists as much as they are technicians. In many ways, they are like gifted painters creating reproductions of master paintings, but what they are attempting to replicate is in many ways much more challenging: They are replicating multicolored, multi-textured, multidimensional human teeth and gingiva. And when they succeed, their talents make it possible for patients to have healthy, natural-looking smiles that can do wonders for quality of life and self-esteem.
“PALA cre-active really allows my creativity to come out,” says Garces, “especially when I’m working with spotted gums and using various shades of pinks, purples and reds.” Garces appreciates the fact that PALA cre-active offers more colors, which allow him to create subtle transitions between shades. With his prior system, he says, the gaps between shades were much greater, and the resulting prostheses were much less natural looking.
Garces also prefers the gingival material that comes with the PALA cre-active system. “Its flowability is ideal,” he says. “It’s not too runny, and it doesn’t develop lumps that start moving on you. When you place the PALA cre-active gingival material, it stays in place.”
Other advantages laboratories will experience with the PALA cre-active system are the ability to be both ground and polished, suitability for both conventional and digital dentures, quick and easy application, and quick corrections. Garces said that he can do a section of six teeth at one time and complete a full denture in approximately 30 minutes, which is significantly faster than with the system he used previously.
When used in combination with Signum® connector bonding agent, the PALA cre-active system is particularly suitable for characterizing full and partial dentures, as well as implant-retained dentures. While PALA cre-active can be used with most light-curing units, the Signum HiLite® power light-curing unit is ideal for the polymerization of the characterized denture. The combination of PALA cre-active, Signum connector bonding agent and the Signum HiLite power curing light allows a dental laboratory to differentiate itself and increase the value it brings to its dental practices.
It goes without saying that any dental laboratory that hopes to remain competitive must deliver high product quality, but that alone is not sufficient to guarantee success. As in virtually any industry, dental laboratory customers have come to expect high quality; to truly stand out, a dental laboratory must do something truly special. Van Hook Dental Studio aims to stand out by positioning itself as delivering an unwavering focus on artistry and attention to detail. And they have decided that the PALA cre-active light-curing color fluid system can help them achieve that goal.
According to Garces, PALA cre-active is certainly easier to use than other systems and a time saver. “But that’s not what’s most special about PALA cre-active,” he says. “What makes it the best color fluid system I’ve ever seen is that it gives you an exceptionally realistic prosthesis with amazingly lifelike characteristics and depth. Who,” he asks rhetorically, “wouldn’t want that?”