The challenges posed by the increased demand for both implant-supported and removable denture prosthetics that meet patients’ functional needs and esthetic expectations, coupled with the shortage of both laboratory technicians and dentists adequately trained to provide complete denture therapy for the skyrocketing number of patients who need them now or in the near future, are factors driving the development of automated manufacturing processes for removable prosthetic appliances.
As the cases described by clinicians David Little, DDS; Kristen McBride,
DDS; and Larry R. Holt, DDS, show, implant-supported and removable digital dentures, respectively, can be fabricated with a simplified clinical technique that eliminates at least two of the traditional appointment steps in clinical denture fabrication, and the CAD/CAM-driven laboratory workflow eliminates many of the labor-intensive steps that traditional denture fabrication requires. This workflow can help offset the loss of skilled technicians who are aging out of the industry, instill confidence in clinicians taught the simplified process, and generally streamline the entire denture fabrication process. It can also enable laboratories with the technology but lacking technicians highly skilled in removable protocols to fabricate dentures and begin providing these services to their dentist-clients.
We are grateful that our corporate sponsor has provided the opportunity to show how clinicians and their laboratory partners can face contemporary challenges to traditional denture fabrication with solutions that Dr. Holt calls “the future of dentistry” to enable the dental team to provide patients with the precision of digitally produced dentures that not only address the functional needs of the patient but also meet their esthetic expectations.
Editor-in-Chief, Inside Dental Technology