A Precision Engineering Solution to a Traditional Problem
Figure 1 the DentaBite product fitted to a stone model. Figure 2 the DentaBite product show point contacts achieved
upon initial insertion (image provide by Dr David Dunn).
Occlusal splints have been prescribed by Dental practitioners for many years yet it’s a product that, until
now, has been overlooked by the dental CAD/CAM revolution.
What is DentaBite tm? Essentially the DentaBite tm splint is a stabilization splint which is designed to
facilitate the protection of tooth structure from effects or oral para-functional habits such as bruxism.
Like other stabilization splints on the market the DentaBite tm splint is designed to provide:
• contact between the surface of the splint and the opposing teeth in order to prevent
unnecessary and unwanted occlusal changes.
• effective resistance to para-functional occlusal stress
• a smooth contoured surface in order to promote excursive movements
• a retentive yet passive fit
So what sets DentaBite tm apart from the other products on the market? The simple answer is the
This report takes a closer look at the DentaBite tm process in order to explicate the advantages of using
the DentaBite tm splint .
Why fix what’s not broken
Before beginning the DentaBite tm development process the team at Stoneglass Industries researched
the market to obtain feedback from patients and dentists In addition to this, we evaluated a number of
traditional products and techniques. Ultimately, we found that there was room for improvement of the
consistency, quality and accuracy of the finished product. Many of the existing products on the market
are perfectly acceptable and fit for purpo but are not as clinically efficient as many dentists would like.
Research discovered that it is not uncommon to spend significant amounts of time grinding in the
finished fit chair side.
To eliminate discrepancies, which naturally occur within hand crafted products, a smarter more
automated solution has been developed by Stoneglass Industries. The DentaBite solution produces an
end product which is clinically efficient and more agreeable to the patie
DentaBite Product Design Characteristics
Figure 3. Digitized scan in CO. Figure 4. Digitized scan in CR . Figure 5. Finished product.
Traditionally splint products are made from Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and as a result are prone
to fracture and failure during use. One of the main advantages of the DentaBite product i the choice of
base material. The life science grade (LSG) of polycarbonate possesses superior impact strength, yield
strength and wear resistance over traditio materials. This delivers an end product which is more
durable, less bulky and longer lasting (see Dr Dunn’s report for material properties comparison and the
results of clinical trials).
The fit has been fined tuned using a combination of CAD design and advanced CAM milling strategies to
produce an extremely accurately milled finish. The inner fitting surface is virtually surveyed and blocked
out along the insertion direction. The full Occlusal form is mill into the inside surface and engineered
to provide a passive yet retentive fit
Patient comfort is enhanced by virtually rolling the edges of the CAD design to remove sharp corners.
Figure 6. DentaBite tm product design.
Aesthetics of the finished product are import to encourage patient compliance and it’s fairly safe to say
that a patient is less likely to wear a bulky, cumbersome and uncomfortable end product. The DentaBite
tm design follows the contours of the gum and teeth in order to achieve a more anatomical appearance
and more natural feel.
The end product is supplied highly polished and enhanced material properties allows the part to be
designed with a reduced in cross sectional area, this results in a improvement in transparency.
Figure 7. DentaBite tm point contacts.
The margin of error associated with a single point contacting a contoured surface is fairly large and this
margin of error is greatly increased when attempting to provide point contacts throughout the entire
bite. Achieving this level of point accuracy is extremely difficult using traditional techniques and often
results in over contoured surfaces with uneven contact. The Stoneglass CAD process facilitates the
creation of a mathematical smoothed splint contact surface to micron accuracy
Figure 8. DentaBite tm section through guidance ramp.
Anterior guidance ramps promote the disengagement of posterior contacts during excursive
movements. The Dentabite tm guidance ramp angle is configured to provide the minimum angle
required for total occlusal disengagement. The guide ramp is isolated to a region around the anterior
cuspids and the change is section is smoothly blended back into the splint surface.
Figure 8. The DentaBite tm process flow.
The Stoneglass Industries manufacturing process is a highly automated knowledge based process
designed for mass production. The DentaBite tm product is virtually designed and manufactured and the
very nature of this process ensures the accuracy and predictability of the finished product.
Figure 9. Stone model witrh sectioned MMR.
The design starts with the scanning process Stoneglass Industries utilizes a laser scanner to digitize the
Maxillary and Mandibular stone models in Centric Occlusal and Centric Relation. Centric Relation is
achieved using a retruded-position MMR Capturing these two bite conditions enables us tos
mathematically determine a patient specific condoyle hinge axis during the virtual articulation stage of
Figure 10. The DentaBite tm CAD software – Main Screen.
The CAD software has been developed from the ground up by Stoneglass Industries. We believe that
developing our own software gives us greater flexibility and control over the end product.
The DentaBite tm CAD software includes the following process steps:
• Virtual Articulation
• Virtual Surveying
• Blocking Out
• Finishing Line Design
• Design Styling
• Send for Manufacture
Alignment and Articulation
Figure 11 The DentaBite tm CAD software – Alignment Process.
Figure 12. Virtual Articulator.
During our initial investigations we looked at introducing a virtual articulator to match the traditional
method of manufacture. However, we found that an empirically derived hinge axis could not deliver the
degree of accuracy required to achieve the required occlusal contact.
In addition to this clinical trials confirmed that it was not viable for the dentist to deliver an MMR to a
consistently fixed vertical distance.
An alternative method of articulation has been d developed by Stoneglass Industries to determine a
patient specific axis of rotation using a comparison between the CO and CR scans. The software
determines a mathematical transformation matrix derived from the displacement of the MMR and this
transformation matrix is used to interpolate the scan to the desired vertical distance.
Figure 13 The DentaBite tm CAD software – Virtual Surveyor.
The insertion direction is determined graphically using a virtual surveyor. This makes undercut areas and
retentive areas very visible. Traditionally the blocking out process is dependent on the skill and
experience of the technician creating the splint. Jobs are blocked out with 100% accuracy within the
DentaBite tm software via a single button clic
Figure 14 The DentaBite tm CAD software – Finish Line Creation.
The aesthetics of the final product are enhanced by introducing a contoured finishing line. The
contoured finishing line is generated by dynamically dragging anchor points over the surface of the scan.
Contact Point Creation
Figure 15. The DentaBite tm CAD software – Point Contact Creation.
The user ambiguously picks the area requiring a point contact and the software automatic searches
within a zoned area in order to determine the highest contact point. This automatic cusp detection
technique ensures point accuracy when generating the splint surface.
As the user selects the point contacts a smoothly contoured splint surface is automatically generated
through the contacts.
Figure 16 The DentaBite tm CAD software – Final Design Stage.
A default design is created and finalized quickly by using region modifications or modifications to
selected areas. The level of dynamic adjustment here provides greater control of the styling of the
Figure 17. The Stoneglass Industries CAM process.
The DentaBite CAD software is linked directly to the Stoneglass Industries manufacturing facility using
the SDS link. Once the data has been sent to the Stoneglass Industries facility the work is automatically
scheduled for manufacture using the MillingCentre knowledge based CAM software.
Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders and is a para-functional habit for a large percentage
of the population. The occlusal splint is the most effective means of treatment for this condition and
considering how often an occlusal splint is prescribed perhaps it’s fair to say that a significant
enhancement of this product is long overdue.
Clinical trials of the DentaBite tm product have proven popular with patients, particularly patients who
have previously worn a traditional product. Feedback gathered suggests that the product is more
comfortable, less bulky and more translucent that other products.
In summary the benefits of using the DentaBite product include an:
• Improvement in clinical efficiency
• Improved patient comfort and compliance
• Enhancement in the mechanical properties of the material
• Increase of product accuracy
• Improvement in product life
• Improvement in the predictability of the end product
The Dentabite tm product is now available to Dentists and Laboratories visit http://stoneglass.com.au/
for further information.
Stoneglass Industries would like to thank Dr David Dunn for his product design inputs during the
development of the DentaBite CAD/CAM process.