VITA Zahnfabrik has developed a versatile software program that supports communication between the dental surgeon, the dental technician and the patient: Vita ToothConfigurator enables patients to be actively involved in planning their own dentures, and allows the result to be displayed and adapted on a monitor.
Dr Michael Lambertin’s practice laboratory in Zülpich, Germany, has been using this new product for several weeks now. The following case study (see below and overleaf) shows how the Vita ToothConfigurator, a Vita Assist tool, can be used in prosthetic planning and illustrates the advantages and possibilities provided by this software.
The selected patient is in his early seventies and has been wearing dentures since 1996. As well as a more aesthetic mouth area, he would also like dentures that offer high functional quality.
When fabricating high quality dentures, the process always begins with an appointment during which various impressions are taken.
Even at this early stage, I try to involve the patient in the process of shade and shape selection. However, up until now, it was often difficult to explain to a patient in words how wearing their new dentures might affect their appearance.
Selecting the tooth shade is generally still a fairly easy decision; however, particularly when it comes to selecting the tooth shapes, it is often difficult to imagine what the result might be.
Patients sometimes feel as if they have not really been consulted and as a result are unsure and have reservations about their new dentures. Will the dentures fit? Is the shade right? What does my face look like when I laugh? What will family, friends or neighbours say when I wear my new dentures for the first time?
The dental technician can also calm a patient’s fears in this respect and let them know their new dentures will not only offer functionality but also restore some of their quality of life.
Using the Vita ToothConfigurator software, hopes and expectations in terms of better communication with the patient prior to denture fabrication can be consolidated in order to improve patient satisfaction.
Specifically, this means not just verbalising but actually illustrating the shade and shape of the restoration solution.
At the same time, we also hope that computer-aided planning of dentures will provide us with greater flexibility with regard to design, as using this software allows various possibilities in terms of shape and shade selection to be displayed quickly and easily on a monitor, and to be modified and customised as often as required. This obviously also makes communication between the dental surgeon and the laboratory easier.
During the last few weeks of testing in our practice, it has become clear that the Vita ToothConfigurator can meet our expectations.