INSTRUMENTS, MATERIALS, AND MACHINERY IN THE DENTAL LABORATORY
The dental technician uses a wide variety of materials instrument and dental lab equipment Used In A Laboratory within his broad field of work. Some companies distribute dental products for dental clinics and dental prosthesis laboratories; these companies are called dental warehouses.
The subject of essential instruments in a dental laboratory to carry out the different phases of work will be addressed.
They are the set of essential tools that a prosthetist must have to carry out their work. The following stand out:
- Trays: a dental impression tray is a container specially manufactured for taking dental impressions, so it consists of a body to contain the different existing impression materials, which will have a suitable shape adapted to the oral anatomy, shape that will vary depending on whether it is for the upper or lower arch.
- Articulator: The dental articulator is a manual instrument used in the prosthetic laboratory to reproduce the patient’s temporomandibular joint. There are very different types, classified according to their fit, precision, and models.
- Parallelizer or parallelogram: it is a manual instrument used by the prosthetist to determine the insertion axis of the prosthesis, a determination that will be made taking into account the retentive surfaces and in such a way as to facilitate support, retention, and stability. And the aesthetics of dental prostheses.
- Lecron: it is a fine, a small, handy, and entire metal instrument used for modeling.
- Shale: a tool for molding, similar to the electron but with a curved blade.
- Waxing knife: it is an instrument more prominent than the electron, with metal at both ends and a central wooden handle. At one end is a knife that can be smooth or prepared to hold liquid wax; in the other, a tongue is curved upwards at the tip, which can also be smooth or have a wedge shape. As its name suggests, it is used to wax: both ends are heated over the flame of the fire to take them to the wax later.
- Peter K. Thomas: it is an entirely metallic instrument, designed to be held in the center and whose ends end in a long fine point, curved towards the future, and of different thicknesses. It is used to wax drop by drop.
- Ceramic spatulas: these are instruments in various models and shapes used during the modeling of ceramics.
- Plaster spatula: An instrument with a large wooden handle and a metal end at least the same size as the handle. It is prepared to beat and mix plasters with water or refractory coatings with their corresponding liquids.
- Rubber bowl: as its name suggests, it is a rubber bowl or container with the necessary capacity to allow mixing the plaster with the water.
- Mosquito forceps: it is an entirely metallic instrument in the form of scissors but much more refined. The prosthetist will use it to hold the metal copings of bridges and crowns, thus avoiding touching them with the fingers so that they can be comfortably manipulated both for processing and for taking them to the oven once the ceramic has been mounted.
- Thickness gauge or gauge: it is an instrument that, as its name indicates, is used to measure the thickness of metals, especially in metal copings (of crowns and bridges); since specific metal thicknesses are required, thicknesses which must be achieved during the reworking of the same and before beginning the entire process that precedes the assembly of the ceramic.
- Pliers: they are instruments to handle, manipulate and cut metallic wire.
- Scalpel: it is an instrument in the form of a small knife, with a fine, pointed blade, with one or two cuts, which is used in the laboratory to cut different types of materials.
- Others: scissors, tweezers, hammers, pliers, etc.
B) Dental lab materials
Materials science includes the study of composition, properties, and the way they interact with the environment. Thanks to the knowledge provided by science, it is possible to select the appropriate materials in each case. The prosthetist will choose the material based on its use and handling.
The choice of one or the other material is important since it will remain fixed in the patient’s mouth or will be periodically removed for cleaning.
Materials must withstand the effects of environmental conditions (different temperatures) and variant ions in acidity or alkalinity that will affect their durability.
Currently, the manufacturing materials are three: resin, metal, and ceramic.
In the manufacture of prostheses, elements as characteristic as gold, a precious metal widely used for crowns and bridges, have been used, which today has been clearly relegated, although it continues to be used exceptionally. This metal also has a cultural significance in certain ethnic groups and countries.
Currently, a multitude of metal alloys are used in different concentrations:
- Gold and its alloys.
- Ag-Pd (silver-palladium), another noble alloy.
- Cr-Co (chromium cobalt dental alloy) and Cr-Ni (chromium nickel dental alloy), both non-noble metals, are usually the most used alloys for making prostheses.
Ceramic, also called porcelain, is a material of mineral origin, hard and rigid, obtained by the action of heat in a kiln. There are different types of ceramics for making dental prostheses, which can be classified according to their melting temperature (high melting and low melting) and their chemical composition (feldspathic porcelain and aluminous porcelain).
This material is widely used today because well manipulated; ceramic provides the artificial tooth with qualities very similar to those of natural teeth.
It is an accessible material to handle, perhaps the simplest of all, while it turns out to be the most economical. The acrylic teeth that are mounted on the other restorations are also made of resin.
C) Common dental lab equipment used in a dental lab
It includes all the machines that allow the dental technician to carry out his work. Among the machinery of a dental prosthesis laboratory, the following devices should be highlighted:
- Dental vibrator: This allows you to eliminate air bubbles when a print is emptied.
- Dental model trimmer: cuts excess plaster from the models, allowing good adaptation to the articulator.
- Polisher: device that polishes small pieces. Allows polishing and polishing of finished prostheses. It wears a protective screen to prevent particles from being thrown out. There are different types: polishers with light and aspiration, polishers with one or two speeds, etc.
- Polymerizer or hydropneumatic pot: apparatus or pot that polymerizes the resins cold or hot.
- Muffle: it is a small container placed inside an oven to reconcentrate the heat. When the complete removable dentures are prepared inside, the gelatin is set to duplicate the model and then the resin. The flask facilitates its setting. The flasks are used with the pressure flanges.
- Dental micromotor or rotary motor: device connected to the electrical network; at the end, it has a milling cutter for grinding and polishing surfaces.
- Dental sandblasting machine: blasting device, which cleans the coating that the metallic prostheses present when they come out of the cylinder.
- Dental electrolytic bath: allows the brightening of skeletons using electrolysis.
- Casting motor: motor designed for the working of framing, metal trimming, sprue separator. It has a protective screen and light.
- Thermoforming machine: device that allows making thermoformable plates used in the manufacture of dental splints.
- Light-curing lamp: device that allows rapid polymerization of light-curing materials. It presents an acoustic signal that indicates the end of polymerization.
All dental technicians must follow a series of guidelines that ensure the hygiene of the manufactured material. These cleaning and safety instructions are reflected in the Biosafety Protocol, a manual where prosthetists’ precautions are indicated.
not only due to the chemicals present in the laboratory but also to ensure the integrity of the prostheses.
Inside the laboratory, it is necessary to wear a mouth mask, protective goggles, disposable gloves and caps, and a surgical apron.
All laboratory equipment – as is the case with that used in a clinic – must be sterilized and disinfected after each use.
Now that you know where dentures and splints are made, you indeed have a deeper understanding of how a dental clinic works.
Behind each treatment, there is always a specialized professional.