By Norman J. Pomerance, DDS, Denton LIVING WELL Magazine
In this digital age we are now living, many advances in medicine and dentistry are derived from using the computer as a tool to improve our traditional methods of treating patients. The most recent advancement in dentistry for treating a patient who has no remaining teeth is dentures that are constructed from a digital image of their mouth.
This method reduces the number of dental visits necessary to construct traditional dentures as well as making a more accurate fit. Impressions of the mouth are made in special trays. These impressions are then digitally scanned and this scan is used to create a denture from a solid block of material. The computer controls an instrument which very accurately carves a denture which will fit the patient’s mouth much more closely than that which is constructed by the normal method. Since there are less steps involved and the denture material will not change shape during processing, this method of creating a full denture is faster and better fitting.
During the initial appointment, other measurements are also taken to insure a denture that not only will fit properly the first time but will also function well and be aesthetically pleasing. Traditional dentures require up to five appointments to be made, digital dentures can be constructed in as little as two appointments.
As with all dentures, the color, shape and size of teeth as well as arrangement and bite are determined in advance. With this new method, all of these are chosen at the first appointment. If a check or try-in of the denture is requested during construction, an additional appointment would be required. Dentures made digitally cost no more than traditional dentures, yet fit better and are constructed with fewer appointments.
Dr. Pomerance has been practicing general and cosmetic Dentistry for over 35 years and is knowledgeable about the latest techniques, advances and trends in his field. He may be reached at 940-382-3530.