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Digital Dentures

Course Number: 662


Milling is the most popular method of fabricating digital dentures. Once the design of the prosthesis is approved, the CAD stereolithography (STL) file is sent to a milling software that directs the milling machine to perform a series of movements. The artificial teeth may be either milled with the prosthesis (monolithic) or milled individually or as a complete arch in tooth shade material, or selected from a prefabricated series and bonded to the milled denture base (Figures 4 & 5).29

Monolithic dentures are resistant to staining. They also help alleviate the concern of debonding of the teeth from the denture base, however, the prostheses may have a monochromatic appearance with a not-as-favorable esthetic outcome.5 To circumvent this problem, some manufacturers have developed resin blanks with several layers that help fabricate denture bases with polychromatic teeth that mimic the dentin and enamel thereby improving the esthetics.5

Milled complete denture bases have an excellent fit owing to the elimination of the polymerization shrinkage inherent in traditional fabrication processes of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) dentures. Milled complete dentures have a superior fit, dimensional stability, flexural strength, and surface hardness compared to conventional and 3D-printed dentures.5,30-33 The disadvantage of milling a denture is that a large portion of the blank remains unused and is wasted during the process and they are more expensive compared to 3D-printed dentures.5,30-32

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Figure 4. Milled Denture Base

Image Courtesy of Dr. Goodacre

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Figure 5. (A) Milled denture base (B) Prefabricated teeth bonded to the milled denture base

Images Courtesy of Dr. Goodacre