At IDS 2015, Heraeus Kulzer showcased its latest advance in digital prosthetics in collaboration with Amann Girrbach. Under the new brand "Pala® Mix & Match DS" (Digital Sets), Heraeus Kulzer's tried-and-tested manufactured denture teeth will boast interfaces to facilitate incorporation into the CAD/CAM workflow. Starting from September 2015, this innovation will allow the automated fabrication of full dentures up to the wax try-in stage.
Up to now, anyone who fabricated restorations with digital support could only adjust denture teeth manually. At this year's IDS, Heraeus Kulzer was the first manufacturer to present denture teeth for CAD/CAM fabrication with Pala Mix & Match DS. The Amann Girrbach Ceramill Full Denture System allows these denture teeth to be adjusted from the basal side to the individual patient's needs in a fully automated workflow.
And this is how it works: the dentist passes the patient's information as a classic bite registration to the laboratory where a functional model is produced and placed in the articulator. The dental technician digitises this with an optical 3D scanner. The full denture is designed with the Amann Girrbach Ceramill D-Flow software. Based on a prior model analysis, it suggests the suitable dental teeth from the Heraeus Kulzer Pala Mix & Match System for the digital denture teeth set up. From September 2015, Pala teeth will be stored as datasets exclusively in the Ceramill D-Flow software and will then be available as tooth blanks for the Ceramill Motion 2 (5X). Depending on their needs, users get access to the most common full denture options from the Pala tooth lines Premium 6, Mondial 6, Mondial 8 and Idealis 8.
After the automated basal adjustment of the denture teeth to the alveolar ridge, the user receives a gingival design suggestion which can be customised as required. The software then emits the milling data for the upper and lower jaw base including the tooth sockets which are milled water-cooled from a gingiva-coloured wax blank with the 5-axis Ceramill Motion 2. The Pala Mix & Match denture teeth, supplied as blanks with a retaining frame, are basally milled using a further dataset. The dental technician then manually inserts the patient's individually milled teeth into the tooth sockets in the wax bases, secures them with wax and checks the dentures in the articulator. The try-in at the dental practice and the finishing of the denture teeth are done using the classic way.
Integrated workflow for optimal results
Today, users must optimally combine digital and analogue procedures, to ensure ideal treatment outcomes. In cooperation with Amann Girrbach, Heraeus Kulzer promotes this material-based approach. "CAD/CAM fabrication of Pala denture teeth constitutes an important milestone which makes full digital dentures economically viable for dental laboratories for the very first time", said Karl-Heinz Renz, Group Product Manager Removable Prosthetics at Heraeus Kulzer. "Additionally, with Pala Mix & Match DS, dental technicians create reproducible, ultra-precise denture solutions."
Patent utilisation rights
The collaboration between Heraeus Kulzer and Amann Girrbach AG was facilitated following agreement between the two companies on patent utilisation rights. Amann Girrbach developed and patented the "Fabrication method for denture teeth" whereas Heraeus Kulzer was responsible for manufacturing the functional models for the tooth blanks. Heraeus Kulzer is also the proprietor of the European patent "Method and device for producing a dental prosthesis" which protects the whole digital process for the automated productionof dentures.
The license agreement, concluded on February 23, 2015, permits the reciprocal use of these patents by the two partners. The contractually protected methods and devices used in the digital production of a full denture are thus exclusively accessible to the two companies up to the expiry of the cooperation. At the same time, the license agreement specifies the exclusive use of the Heraeus Kulzer Pala tooth lines for the launch of the full digital denture.
"The protection of our patents is the basis for our innovative strength and value creation. The exclusive license agreement between Amann Girrbach and Heraeus Kulzer is the result of our close and productive partnership," said Novica Savic, Head of Division Dental Materials at Heraeus Kulzer. "This allows us to take an important step forward in full digital prosthetics –-benefiting both users and patients."
About Heraeus Kulzer
Heraeus Kulzer GmbH is one of the world's leading dental companies with its headquarters in Hanau, Germany. As a trusted partner, the company supplies dentists and dental technicians with an extensive product range, covering cosmetic dentistry, tooth preservation, prosthetics, periodontology and digital dentistry. More than 1,400 employees at 25 locations worldwide are driven by their expertise and passion for the dental market and embody what the name Heraeus Kulzer stands for: service, quality and innovation. In 2013, Heraeus Kulzer's product turnover exceeded USD 400 million. Heraeus Kulzer has been part of the Japanese Mitsui Chemicals Group since July 2013.
About Amann Girrbach
Amann Girrbach ranks among the leading innovators and full-service providers in digital dental prosthetics. Its CAD/CAM-based solutions enable all necessary working stages to be completed in your own laboratory. The cornerstones of this strategy are the complete, unbroken processes using the products under the Ceramill brand. Amann Girrbach, which was formed in 2004 through the merger of Amann Dental and Girrbach Dental, employs approximately 360 people. At its headquarters in Koblach, Austria, the specialist dental manufacturer mainly carries out research and development, while the subsidiaries in Germany, USA, Brazil, China and Singapore focus on sales and service.