Occlusal Lock – Let’s Get Digital!

Posted by Chris Raines on Aug 30, 2018 1:52:16 PM

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A New Technology used with Teeth In A Day®

Digital dentistry has improved conventional removable denture and dental implant treatment for patients. The automated process of making AvaDent® digital dentures is faster and more precise. The addition of the Occlusal Lock improves the process even more.

Glenn Wolfinger, DMD, FACP, Pi Dental Center, Tim Thompson, President & CEO, Global Dental Science and Stephen Balshi, MBE, Biomedical Engineer and Owner of CM Prosthetics during Tim’s recent visit.

Glenn Wolfinger, DMD, FACP, Pi Dental Center, Tim Thompson, President & CEO, Global Dental Science and Stephen Balshi, MBE, Biomedical Engineer and Owner of CM Prosthetics during Tim’s recent visit.

Pi Dental Center’s digital dentures are engineered by AvaDent® (Global Dental Science), utilizing CAD/CAM technology to create a digital record of the patient’s mouth. The process ensures a precise fit and exceptional strength. The AvaDent® prosthesis can be used for removable or fixed prosthesis.

The Occlusal Lock was developed here at Pi Dental Center. When making dentures to be used in the Teeth In A Day® process, this Occlusal Lock helps us to line up the teeth with great precision.

TEETH IN A DAY®

Teeth In A Day® was also developed here at Pi Dental Center. This procedure allows patients to have stable non-removable healthy teeth in just one office visit. The conventional process for getting an implant begins with the insertion of the dental implant. With traditional treatment, after 3 months, the dentist would start building the teeth. So for a long 3 month period, the patient would suffer with removable dentures while they waited for the bone to heal. Teeth In A Day® has reduced this lengthy procedure to one day.

CONVERSION PROSTHESIS

During Teeth In A Day® treatment, a Conversion Prosthesis, which was also developed at Pi Dental Center, is delivered. The conversion prosthesis is an interim fixed-prosthesis that the patient wears from the time of placement of implants until the final prosthesis is completed. This prosthesis is made from the AvaDent® removable denture. During the implant placement procedure, this removable prosthesis is modified into a fixed prosthesis. It allows the patient to experience the benefits of dental implants immediately after the implants are uncovered.

OCCLUSAL LOCK

The Occlusal Lock is placed onto the Conversion Prosthesis. The Lock fastens the teeth into position so that the prosthodontist can connect the removable teeth to the dental implants.

The Occlusal Lock secures the denture into the opposing teeth. It is a temporary part of the denture that is in place while the doctor installs the implants. The Lock is trimmed away, once the teeth are connected rigidly to the implants. This newer protocol, which replaces an earlier system, is much easier and simpler. It shortens the process and reduces treatment time. Shorter visits and fewer appointments are a real bonus for patients. 

“Our patient was very happy with her Avadent® conversion prostheses. Occlusal Locks were really helpful in positioning the prostheses properly during the Teeth in a Day procedure,” affirms Dr. Glenn Wolfinger.

Dr. Glenn Wolfinger states, “This procedure saves a tremendous amount of time and, in most cases, eliminates the need for an additional wax try-in because teeth line up from the start.”

HOW IT WORKS:

  • The patient has preliminary procedures that include an impression being taken at Pi Dental Center.
  • The prosthodontist provides the dental lab with impressions and an occlusal registration, which visualizes the jaw relationships.
  • The lab digitally designs the denture based on the info that the prosthodontist provided. Once the denture is designed, the Occlusal Lock is added digitally.
  • The design is digitally transferred to the AvaDent® processing center at Global Dental Science in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • The prosthesis is created and returned to Pi Dental Center within 1 ½ to 2 weeks.
  • The patient returns to Pi Dental Center for dental implant placement and delivery of the conversion prosthesis.

The Occlusal Lock is now used in all Teeth In a Day® cases performed at Pi Dental Center.

Photo of Occlusal Lock – When making dentures to be used in the Teeth In A Day® Process, it helps us to line up the teeth. It locks the teeth into position so that we can connect the removable teeth to the implants.

Stephen Balshi, Biomedical Engineer and owner of CM Prosthetics, elaborated, “This process makes the prosthetic procedure more accurate and less time consuming, eliminating future revisions.”

DEVELOPMENT AND PATENT

Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, Dr. Thomas Balshi, and Stephen Balshi, MBE in conjunction with Sjon Grobbee (Vice President of Manufacturing and Technology at Global Dental Science) developed the Occlusal Lock. The process was outlined in a journal article in 2016 and has now been patented.

Dr Wolfinger, Balshi, SFB and Grobbee and caption: The named inventors on the Occlusal Lock patent are Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, Dr. Thomas Balshi, Stephen Balshi MBE and Sjon Grobbee.The named inventors on the Occlusal Lock patent are Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, Dr. Thomas Balshi, Stephen Balshi MBE and Sjon Grobbee.

The Occlusal Lock is just the newest of many Pi Dental Center accomplishments. Pi Dental Center has been at the forefront of dental implant and prosthetic technology since it was founded in 1986. Throughout the years, our board certified prosthodontists and specialized dental team have designed new devices, perfected procedures, improved protocols and developed methods to make the patient experience more comfortable and less time-consuming. Pi Dental Center has completed many research projects and published numerous articles. We continue to track every implant that we place. We have placed and tracked over 22,872 implants with a 98+ percent success rate.

For patients, this is significant. Superior skill, attention to every technical detail and a deep interest in improving the specialty of dental implant treatment, translates to more efficient patient care, better prostheses, more exact fit, improved color matching, and a higher implant success rate in a comfortable and expedient manner.

Contact Pi Dental Center to learn more about the dental implants with the Teeth In A Day® procedure.

Ask A Dental Question Or Schedule An Appointment 

Chris Raines
Web Site Administrator
Information Systems Manager
Marketing and Information Technologies Departments

Tags: AvaDent digital dentures, AvaDent with dental implants, Occlusal Lock