Partial dentures have been a mainstay of the dental industry for many years and for good reason. They are an affordable, tried-and-tested treatment. Until now, dimensional change during the manufacture of RPD's has been a difficult technical challenge due to the
reliance on traditional techniques such as 'lost wax'. But thanks to some forward thinking by Damian Synefias from Proslab Dental, the challenge has been met and answered.
In an Australian first, a unique 3D laser printer built in the UK by global specialists Renishaw is now up and running at Proslab's high-end Melbourne facility and is ready to provide superior quality and output. Renishaw's additive manufacturing systems use metal powder bed fusion technology to build complex
components direct from digital CAD files.
That may sound like a mouthful, but the breakthrough to unquestionable accuracy has important benefits. For prosthesists, it means that they are now able to enhance their offering in terms of their reputation, service quality and customer service.
For patients, an accurate partial denture that fits perfectly first time and is immediately comfortable will definitely put a smile on their face.
As Damian from Proslab explains, "We have been manufacturing cobalt chrome frames for a long time now and after bringing in the scanning, designing and digital workflow many years ago, the casting process was always our problem area. There was no other accurate technique to finally finish off the process we had in scan and design.
"With the help of Renishaw and the state-of-the-art AM 400 laser printer, we are now in a position to produce the most accurate 'casting' for the patient that there is. It allows us to be more confident in our work with none of the dimensional change in the framework that we had become accustomed to from
3D printing, which is also known as additive manufacturing, is fast becoming a natural progression for those companies who are willing to tackle innovation with an open mind.
Many of the constraints seen in more traditional manufacturing
methods such as casting may soon be a thing of the past. Being
able to create complex geometries and mass customisation, at a
commercially viable cost, is a real driver for Australian industries
which are often hamstrung by scale compared to their
Renishaw's laser printing is a pioneering additive manufacturing
process capable of producing fully dense metal parts
directly from 3D CAD files using a high-powered fibre laser.
Parts are built up from a range of fine metal powders that are
fully melted in a tightly controlled atmosphere, layer by layer, in
thicknesses ranging from 20 to 100 microns. After closely testing
the options in the market, the accuracy that Renishaw is able to
deliver has provided a clear edge.
Accurate-fit laser printed Removable Partial Dentures are now a reality...
The CE marked metal powder is laid down in 40 micron thick
layers and comes direct from Renishaw, so there are no third
party suppliers to add cost, complexity or error. Of course, total
accuracy means that a better fit in the patient's mouth is assured,
along with superior comfort and reliability.
Proslab are renowned for their keen interest in technological
solutions and were the first to bring in CAD/CAM processes for
metal frames for dentures almost 15 years ago. This addition
to their portfolio once again shows that they are willing to lead
the way with the type of investment that creates better patient
outcomes and pushes the industry forward.
Servicing Dental Prosthetists
From the perspective of the dental specialists using this service,
the benefits of laser printing at Proslab are many. The process
is far more efficient and more accurate than traditional methods
that were previously responsible for introducing human error into
the equation. The digital workflow cycle is now complete and
turnaround times are greatly reduced, with a five-day timeline
being the new norm.
"While we started as a traditional lab, we are now one of the
leading labs servicing Dental Prosthetists in Australia and New
Zealand offering a true one-stop service. We do everything in
house. Nothing's outsourced. We even have our own delivery
drivers," Mr Synefias said.
Another major advantage is Proslab's design expertise; skeletal
intricate design keeps the gingival areas free of alloy contact
which provides a premium self-cleansing appliance for the patient.
Proslab Dental's design areas digitally wax using a touch
sensitive force feedback haptic device. Designing with a mouse
doesn't give this sort of feedback. This device allows you to
design in a more even and controlled environment as if you were
feeling the model with a wax knife (Yes, you can actually feel the
model and the digital wax through the pen itself!).
"3D printing is the way of the world now," Mr Synefias said.
"This is a natural progression for us. The industry is embracing
the benefits of digital workflow and I think if you're not on board,
you'll really struggle because things are moving so quickly."
For more information, contact Damian Synefias at Proslab
Dental on (03) 8809-0500 to learn more or to get started.
Article published with the permission of eLABORATE magazine.