Scott Udell, CDT, CEO Udell Dental Laboratory, Inc. Minneapolis, MN

Key points

Provides a metal-free option for RPD frames

Enhances the digital workflow, saving time

Eliminates the in-house casting and waxing steps

Offers material properties ideal for milling, retention and patient comfort

One lab’s experience using Ultaire® AKP

Many dental labs have adopted a digital workflow in their practice, and are experiencing the cost and time savings that come with utilizing a digital workflow for the creation of removable partial denture (RPD) frames. Udell Dental Laboratory, Inc. is no stranger to this process, and has been using CAD/CAM software for several years. When asked about the digitization of their lab, Scott Udell, CDT, CEO, commented, “Without digital in our process, I don’t feel that the lab would be doing nearly as well as it is. It really has kept us in the forefront of being able to produce these restorations in a cost-effective manner.”

Designed for digital

“Going digital” allows labs to seek out new material options, and while there are several RPD materials on the market that leverage the digital workflow, some appear to be too rigid, while others are too flexible. Ultaire® AKP, a new material from Solvay® Dental 360, was designed to fill this gap, offering a product that is rigid enough to compete with metal, without the troublesome side effects. It was formulated specifically for the dental space, designed to simplify the process of designing and milling RPDs. Ultaire® AKP allows labs to eliminate the waxing and casting steps required for traditional metal RPDs, which Udell has found provides cost and time savings for their business, “One of the things we really like about Ultaire® AKP is the ability to eliminate printing, investing and casting, and just going straight to the direct mill and finishing.” The time savings over metal is at least one hour.

Ultaire® AKP Removable Partial Denture in Model

Ultaire AKP Removable Partial Denture in Model

Ultaire® AKP Removable Partial Denture

Ultaire AKP Removable Partial Denture

Transition made easy

In addition to the benefits of using Ultaire® AKP and the digital workflow, it is also important to note that there is no new equipment or software to purchase. Labs that already use digital processes can incorporate this product into their existing design and milling methods. The design differences from traditional metal frames include unique clasp design requirements, as well as altered measurements for things like the Retention Grid, Anatomical Bar, Major and Minor Connectors and the Finish Line. These differences along with the elimination of waxing and casting steps can save the lab an average of one hour or more. Udell has seen this firsthand at his lab, “Some of the things that we really liked about incorporating Ultaire® AKP into the lab was the seamless transition into our existing processes, from the CAD design, to the milling – all of it was very similar to what we currently do. There was really no learning curve when using the product.” With minimal adjustments for designers using familiar software, the time savings means less money spent and a quicker turnaround for the final product.

Patient story

An active, middle-aged man with an upper full denture and a lower metal RPD frame was seeking a metal-free option. The patient complained of the bulk, the shape, the discomfort and the taste of metal frames and was looking for a solution. Udell Dental Lab was able to provide him with the Ultaire® AKP frame. A trial of the new frame was successful and the patient commented that the frame felt even smoother than he had imagined. The new frame eliminated the metal taste as well as the shiny clasps that the patient had complained about with the metal frame, while still providing the functionality needed in an RPD frame. The patient said, “The new Ultaire® AKP option was different. It was comfortable, smooth, it felt more natural, and I really enjoyed that first experience.”

The Patient’s Metal Removable Partial Denture (Lower)

The Patient's Metal Removable Partial Denture - Lower

The Patient’s Ultaire® AKP Removable Partial Denture (Lower)

The Patient's Ultaire AKP Removable Partial Denture - Lower