There was a time earlier in my career where I honestly thought about going back to school to do a prosthodontics residency. I thought this could help me do more larger cases confidently as well as open up a different world of opportunities for lecturing. What always stopped me was the lab work. “Do you really want to live your life for the next three years in a lab setting denture teeth and flasking dentures?” I would ask myself. The answer was a hard "no."
Although I’m sure there are plenty of prosthodontics residents still spending their nights doing this, the world has changed—the days of flasking dentures is a thing of the past. Technology is now more at play than ever in dentures. Prosthodontics residents everywhere should rejoice and thank the Ivotion milled denture system from Ivoclar.
As we know, all denture processes start with an impression, and Ivotion is no different. This can be done a number of ways in today’s ecosystem, and that will continue to change and evolve. I don’t want to get bogged down on this part because the impression will probably be the part of this process that changes the most as technology progresses. Regardless, whether you take a traditional impression and have that scanned with a desktop scanner at the lab, scan the edentulous arch with an intraoral scanner, or scan an impression with your intraoral scanner, somehow the master impression and bite record is turned into digital data. That is where our Ivotion process begins at the laboratory.
The laboratory will take our digital master impression and bite data and begin to work on a design. Using fundamental denture and smile design principles, a design of the pink base and the white teeth is done. Now we get to the part about what really makes Ivotion different: the new Ivotion disc. This allows our laboratory to fabricate a monolithic milled denture quickly and efficiently. The Ivotion system is focused on this one disc. It’s made of highly cross-linked poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) that is half pink and half white. In the past, milled dentures always relied on two discs. One pink and one white and the two milled parts (the denture base and the teeth) were luted together. This added extra steps and a point of weakness, and the new Ivotion disc eliminates this. The milling process is continuous and uninterrupted. Now that we have our single-piece, monolithic milled denture, all our lab has to do is polish.
You might be thinking to yourself that it sounds cool, but you need a try-in to verify everything before final fabrication. Don’t worry! Your lab can mill an all-white try-in denture for you! You can use this try-in denture to take a functional impression and make any final changes before final fabrication.
The monolithic Ivotion disc makes things easier and more efficient for our laboratory and yields a stronger denture for our patient. Another big plus of the Ivotion Denture System is replicability. Let’s say you make a patient an Ivotion denture and three months later, they lose it. The Ivotion denture can be remilled from the same design file as before and replicated in a very short, record-free turnaround time. Try doing that with a traditional denture workflow. It is impossible, and total prefabrication would have to be done. Digital changes all that! Check out Ivoclar’s website for a list of laboratories that use the Ivotion Milled Denture System.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the April 2022 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.