With its sights set on disrupting the $20-billion North American denture market, Toronto-based start-up Ivory Digital Denture is unveiling its concept for an integrated, patent-pending 3D scanning, modeling and printing technology system that will enable the complete fabrication and precision fitting of dentures to be provided to patients in a single, two-hour appointment.
The Ivory Digital Denture system, which received market and business planning support through the University of Waterloo AC JumpStart and York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) business incubation programs, is designed to offer patients a huge improvement over the traditional denture-fitting process.
Using a clean and safe process that requires no laboratory intervention, the system is intended to let patients be fitted for and receive a new set of dentures all in the very same day – a process that normally requires five to eight appointments over a period of three to four weeks.
“The launch of the Ivory Digital Denture system will mark a major step forward in the advancement of 3D printing technology in the oral care industry,” says Ivory Digital Denture founder Shlomo Sharer – a practising denturist for more than 20 years.
“Ivory Digital Denture is an innovative and important project with outstanding potential to revolutionize the denture industry,” says Dr. Marat Ressin, President of YEDI, which selected the start-up venture from nearly 500 applicants to participate in YEDI’s Incubator Track, where Sharer received training and mentorship in entrepreneurship as well as funding to help bring the venture to market.
Patients can guide the design of their 3D dentures
“The traditional denture fitting process is extremely labor intensive,” Sharer says. “Patients have little opportunity to direct the design of the prostheses in respect of their aesthetic needs and the process requires that the dentures be transferred back and forth between the clinic and the laboratory.”
The traditional denture-fitting process does not allow for the prostheses to be optimized for the function of patients, as there is no practical means to record the actual movement of the jaw. Thus, patients frequently experience dissatisfaction, discomfort and disillusionment with the entire process.
With Ivory Digital Denture, patients will be able to guide the design of the denture prostheses and determine its appearance in immediate collaboration with the denturist, and the prostheses can be produced with consistency and high quality and with little manual intervention.
For denturists, greater patient loyalty can be fostered because the digital denture file will remain with the practitioner, allowing dentures to be easily reproduced at a later date, even if they require revisions.
“While other 3D-printed denture systems have entered the global market with varying degrees of success in recent years,” Sharer says, “none have been able to fully address the issues of comfort and consistency of fit that we expect to achieve through our unique 3D scanning and modeling process.”