Unless you are closely involved with the dental sector, you may not know that acrylic polymers (PMMA or Poly Methyl Methacrylate) are essential in creating the very highest quality, lasting solutions for dental procedures.
Statistics show that there are huge percentages of the population in Europe and the Americas with missing teeth and affected with oral disease. According to the WHO, (World Health Organization), around 30% of the population aged 65-74 has lost their natural teeth while 60-90% of school children worldwide have dental cavities. Add to these factors an increasing consumer awareness of oral health issues and a rapidly increasing population and it is clear that there is much evidence to suggest that the global dental products market is set to grow significantly.
For over 65 years we have been working closely with global market leaders and academic communities to build on our knowledge in the dental sector to develop leading edge acrylic polymers for dental applications.
Products that include our PMMA include:
– Heat cure denture polymers
– Auto-polymerising polymers
– Tooth polymers
– Orthodontic polymers
– Specialist applications for crowns and bridges
How acrylic-based teeth are made
Artificial teeth are currently factory produced in a semi-automated process involving significant manual input. First resin is mixed with pigments before MMA or Methyl Methacrylate, the building block for all acrylics, is added to create mouldable dough that can be freeze-stored until it is required. The dough is then sliced into 1-2mm disks, and three increasingly resilient layers of the ‘dental dough’ are then pressed into a three-part, tooth-shaped mould, with the outer layer mimicking the toughness of tooth enamel.
One of our key customers for dental acrylic is Vertex-Dental, a leading global manufacturer of dental polymer products founded in the Netherlands in 1939. They recognize the huge potential of 3D printing in the field of orthodontics and are keen to develop new 3D-print based solutions for the future. MMA and PMMA (used to manufacture the pink part of a denture), remain the most important materials used by Vertex-Dental. Gerrit Munnik, Purchasing Manager at Vertex-Dental said: “We chose to buy MMA products from Lucite International primarily because of the quality of their product and their reliability as a supplier”.
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