As published in BITE magazine April 2024.

Ask any dentist which treatment they enjoy the least. Half would probably say ‘dentures’. A long series of visits, complex processes, slow turnaround times – the traditional process is a pain for the patient or the dentist.
But the latest innovation in denture care reduces chair time, provides enhanced customisation and cuts down manufacturing time to under 72 hours – a better experience all around.

Better care for our aging population

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 21% of Australian adults over 65 have no natural teeth. Of those that do, almost half wear dentures.¹ That’s a significant number of people who can now eat, speak and live their lives with more confidence.

Dentures can be life-changing, but the process of obtaining them is lengthy and inconvenient. As Australia witnesses a significant demographic shift, with more than 22% of its population projected to be over 65 by 2026², the pressure is on to simplify and speed up this critical dental procedure.

The future of denture care

Southern Cross Dental (SCD) has risen to the challenge, pioneering a streamlined digital workflow for denture creation. SCD Digital Dentures harness advanced digital manufacturing techniques, including the use of intraoral scanners and CAD/CAM technologies, to help dentists deliver accurate, durable and natural-looking results for their patients.

Implementing this innovative digital workflow means patients with existing full dentures can have their new ones manufactured and fitted in as little as one week. The process not only accelerates delivery but also ensures a precise and comfortable fit. As more Australians rely on dentures as they age, the accuracy, speed and reliability of SCD Digital Dentures represents a significant leap towards future-proofing dental care.

“Thanks to new digital scanning technologies, there’s no more need to re-base or reline old dentures,” says Gian Moro, Southern Cross Dental’s Senior Manager of Laboratory Operations. “Patients now experience a smoother journey, as they no longer have to go days without their dentures.”

Dentures done in just two visits

SCD’s Digital Dentures workflow streamlines denture creation to just two visits. The first appointment involves taking a reline wash scan with opposing and bite impressions, then simply submitting the order.

Within 72 hours, SCD designs and manufactures the new dentures to the patient’s exact specifications using state-of-the-art milling machines. Experienced dental technicians then finish off the prosthesis, giving them a natural-looking finish. After thorough quality control, the dentures are then posted back to the dentist, ready for fitting.

The second appointment simply involves trying them on and assessing for fit, comfort and function. Dentists can also confidently create ongoing treatment plans for those patients who might not need external referrals.
This efficient process dramatically reduces the waiting time and the number of appointments required, setting a new standard for convenience and efficiency in denture provision.

Smiles all ‘round

The benefits of SCD’s Digital Dentures extend to both dentists and their patients. Patients enjoy a significantly improved experience with fewer appointments, a more comfortable fit and superior aesthetics.

“Patients can choose to have an identical spare denture produced at the same time. This means if they damage or lose them, they’ll always have a spare ready to go. Equally, we keep all scans on file and can create a replacement within days.”

For dentists, this digital solution saves chair time, simplifies the denture workflow and offers a valuable digital record, reducing post-insertion adjustments. For dental practices, it also represents an opportunity for modernisation and increased efficiency, which ultimately improves the bottom line.

SCD Digital Dentures are available Australia-wide.

¹Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2010), Oral health and dental care in Australia: key facts and figures 2012. 
²University of Sydney (2023), Confronting ageing: the talk Australia