Science + Tech

A shortcut in denture fabrication – the Wayne Newton rim

dentures

Nobody loves dentures – especially dentists. During my first semester of dental school, one of my teachers told the class: “You marry your denture patients. You will see them more often than your spouse.”

Denture Dread

Many dentists dread making dentures because it takes a long time. Using the conventional technique (the one taught at most dental schools), at least six appointments are needed. Because of this time commitment, some dentists are simply unable to make a profit fabricating dentures. Many dentists just throw in the towel and choose not to make dentures at all.

However, based on statistics from the ADA and the ACP, Dr. Mark Durham, Division Chief of Prosthodontics at the University of Utah School of Dentistry, estimates that “28 patients will need … dentures your first year out of [dental school] and that number will increase every year.” If Durham’s calculations are correct, it is important for dentists to find ways to make the process less difficult, more efficient and more profitable.

Technique Wars

There are two major types of techniques in denture fabrication: conventional and simplified. Conventional techniques usually include multiple impressions (alginate and PVS), use a semi-adjustable articulator, and require at least six appointments. Simplified techniques often forego the second impression, use mono-plane articulators, and take at least four appointments.

To some, the simplified techniques are heresy. But according to a study published in 2005 by Kawai et. al., “there is no major difference in patient satisfaction or in the perceived quality of conventional dentures produced with traditional or simplified fabrication methods.”

Wayne Newton Rim

Wayne Newton strums the guitar during his USO show at the Patriotic Festival held on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
Wayne Newton strums the guitar during his USO show at the Patriotic Festival held on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

For those who are skeptical of certain aspects of the simplified technique, here’s a little trick developed at the Salt Lake City VA Hospital by Dr. Durham. This technique has been used successfully by dental students at the University of Utah. It combines the conventional and simplified techniques. It uses an apparatus we call the Wayne Newton Rim (WNR) – appropriately named because it will make you and your patients say, “danke schoen!” and because Mr. Las Vegas is a pretty cool guy.

Here’s how you do it: after the initial alginate impression is taken, a cast is poured up and a baseplate is made. The wax rim is then added to the baseplate. (These together make the WNR). A final impression is first taken with PVS using the baseplate portion of the WNR as the custom tray. Then, the wax portion of the rim is adjusted and marked to communicate to the lab where the teeth should go. All this is done in one appointment. The WNR is then sent off to the lab for teeth to be mounted into the wax rim.

PVS being used as the impression material for the Wayne Newton Rim
PVS being used as the impression material for the Wayne Newton Rim
Mandibular Wayne Newton Rim (before impression) and Maxillary rim after impression
Mandibular Wayne Newton Rim (before impression) and Maxillary rim after impression

There are multiple benefits of the WNR:

  1. Like most simplified techniques, fewer appointments are needed – only three if you use a WNR.
  2. Like the conventional technique, a quality PVS final impression in a custom tray (baseplate of the WNR) can be obtained.
  3. With most techniques, adhesives are needed to keep the baseplate and wax rim from moving around, but a WNR will stay put and make it easier to obtain accurate measurements and markings.

The biggest benefit of using a Wayne Newton Rim is that it only requires three appointments. As dentists are able to reduce the time required for dentures, it reduces their costs, increases their profits and makes it possible for them to serve the growing population of patients who lack their pearly whites.

~Daniel Hoopes, Utah ’17, chapter president

Daniel Hoopes

Daniel is a third-year student at the University of Utah School of Dentistry in Salt Lake City. He has served as the Newsletter Lead of the Utah ASDA chapter and is currently serving as chapter president. Daniel is passionate about student rights and advocacy as well as community service. In his spare time, he enjoys running, hiking, sleeping, and playing the cello.

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3 Comments

  1. Debellate says:

    However, when adjusting the wax rim in the mouth after the secondary impression has been taken, wouldn’t the wax rim distort the impression due to the heat used during adjustment?

  2. Are dentures still a popular option with stuff like veneers and dental implants blowing up on the market?

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