Craig Nelson, CDT, shares his technique for fabricating a truly lifelike transitional partial thanks to its form, line angles and positioning of the denture teeth. He worked with Dr. Steve Ratcliff at Spear Education in Scottsdale, AZ, on the case and it exemplifies how attention to detail, use of new materials and good communication with the dental team can result in a partial that disappears in the oral environment.
STEP 1: Dr. Ratcliff sent impressions, along with the prescription and pictures to show final coloration and surface texture. The impressions were box poured and articulated. (See photo 1)
STEP 2: Nelson evaluated the remaining dentition to select the teeth; the size and shape looked identical to Heraeus Mondial i Anterior L20. Since the patient's mouth was severely crowded, the team decided to replicate this condition in the restoration for the most natural results. (See photo 2)
STEP 3: Tooth #23 was set in wax on the model first, then #25. (See photo 3)
STEP 4: Tooth #24 was set with a long incisal edge, so the teeth would mimic the wear facets in the natural dentition. (See photo 4)
STEP 5: Nelson used marking paper to record interferences and then adjusted the teeth. (See photo 5)
STEP 6: After the case was invested and boiled out, Nelson used the Palajet® injection unit to inject Palapress® Vario light pink acrylic into the flask. It was then cured in the Palamat Elite® and deflasked. (See photo 6)
STEP 7: Nelson fitted the appliance to a duplicate model made from the master cast and modified the shade and surface texture of the teeth with composite stains and polishing compounds. (See photo 7)
STEP 8: The final appliance was polished, sterilized and delivered to the dental office. (See photo 8)
Craig Nelson, AAS, CDT, is the Technical Manager at Heraeus Kulzer. He earned his AAS in dental technology from Texas State College and owned a full service laboratory for 38 years. He has studied with some of the world's most renowned technicians and dentists, and has taught ceramics, composites and denture techniques throughout North and South America and Asia.