FAQs

Is 3D printed Valplast the same as injected Valplast?

3D Printed and injected Valplast are chemically identical; the only difference is in how they are processed.

How are the teeth bonded to the denture?

We use a variety of bonding techniques depending on which teeth are being used. For 3D printed resin and milled PMMA teeth we use a procedure that chemically bonds the teeth into the denture base. For our exclusive FilaDent 3D printing material the teeth are bonded to the base using our patent-pending Gradient Fusion technology. Both are proven methods that offer many advantages over the mechanically bonded teeth used in injected dentures.

How strong is 3D printed Valplast?

Very strong! Valplast is the toughest, most durable flexible partial material available worldwide. Every 3D printed Valplast denture from Arfona carries the same lifetime guarantee against breakage as injection molded Valplast.

What shades do you offer?

Valplast is currently available in the popular Standard Pink gingiva shade with plans to release 5 additional shade by the end of 2020. Teeth are available in all 16 Vita classical shades.

What type of 3D printing technology is used with digital Valplast?

Our fused filament (extrusion) process works by taking a thermoplastic monofilament and feeding it through a heated nozzle and depositing it layer by layer into a three dimensional object. Temperature, feedrate, print speed and material flow are all carefully and precisely controlled by the printer hardware, firmware and slicing software.

Why filament printing? Is it accurate enough for dental parts?

Although filament printing typically produces 3D printed parts that may not have the same surface quality as resin based printing, it is an extremely accurate process that lends itself well to a wide range of thermoplastic materials that could not otherwise be 3D printed (i.e. nylon, PMMA). Our technicians use a combination of proprietary post-processing techniques (developed specifically for additive manufacturing) and traditional dental lab processes. We have found that printing at 100μ is beyond the acceptable toleraances for most removable prosthodontic and orthodontic appliances and will produce excellent results.

Can 3D printed Valplast be repaired?

Valplast dentures shouldn’t need a repair because of breakage (they don’t break!)

Adding teeth or modifying an existing Valplast denture is possible but must be done in a laboratory that uses injection molding equipment. We do not offer repair services at this time, however we do offer discounts for duplicate and replacement dentures that were originally fabricated by Arfona.

Can 3D printed Valplast be relined?

There are some instances where Valplast can be relined including with some indirect methods and some soft liner materials that can be used directly; however we do not offer any laboratory reline procedures at this time.

Are 3D printed Valplast partials bulky and rigid or thin and flexible?

All Valplast partials should be fabricated at a precise thickness that generally will not exceed 1.5mm. This is significantly thinner than other types of denture polymers. Digital design and 3D printing helps to quantify this and maintain precision throughout the process. These parameters are based on the unique flexural properties of the material at body temperature and allow for the proper balance of retention, stability and support.

Can 3D printed Valplast be combined with a metal frame?

We cannot combine 3D printed Valplast with metal frames at this time.

Can a Valplast partial be made with clear or tooth colored clasps?

We cannot combine clear clasps with Valplast at this time. The translucent gingival shades of Valplast are often more aesthetically pleasing than clear or tooth colored clasps that cover natural dentition.

What is Valplast made from?

Valplast is a proprietary nylon resin that has been used clinically for more than 70 years.

What types of impressions do you recommend?

As a flexible material, Valplast works best when used with mucostatic impression techniques. This may include alginate materials, alginate substitutes or digital impressions. Polyvinyl siloxane and polyether materials should be avoided as they may produce pressure impressions that lead to tight fitting flexible partial dentures.

Digital Impressions: All digital impressions are supported when scans are provided in any of the above listed formats and meet the following criteria:

  • Both the maxillary and mandibular arches can be scanned without powder including teeth and tissues
  • The patient’s bite can be scanned by having them occlude in centric relation
  • The maxillary and mandibular arch scans can be aligned to the bite in the scanner software before exporting and sending to Arfona
  • If you wish to increase the VDO you may do so by using a leaf gauge and scanning the bite in the open position. When doing so please note this on the prescription.
  • Quadrant impressions are acceptable when prescribing unilateral restorations such as nesbits
  • Be sure to capture as much gingival anatomy as possible including free gingiva, alveolar mucosa and vestibular areas. The use of facial retractors will help capture vestibular areas.

Conventional Impressions: For practitioners without scanning capabilities we are pleased to accept model scans from conventional dental impressions as an alternative to digital impressions:

  • Silicone materials that are marketed as alginate substitutes are preferable as they are low cost, flowable and resistant to tear.
  • Polyvinvyl siloxane and polyether materials should be avoided as they produce pressure impressions that can lead to tight fitting flexible partial dentures
  • Alginate materials should only be used if they are measured and mixed in accordance with the manufacturers instructions and poured within minutes of taking them
  • Border moulding is not required. In some cases a custom impression tray will be recommended to capture a more detailed final impression.
  • Be sure to capture as much gingival anatomy as possible including free gingiva, alveolar mucosa and vestibular areas.
  • Models should be poured with low expansion stone and all bubbled removed from the casts before scanning