Material Marvel

High-performance polymer improves strength, aesthetics of partial dentures.

Prior to moving to Florida a few years ago, Roberta* spent a decade working for the Social Security Administration in her native Maine. Her job was to help people get disability claims that had previously been denied.

“Once a person’s claim is denied, they go through a three-step process to get their claim reviewed and approved,” Roberta describes. “The first step is an initial review. The second is a review by professionals. The third is a face-to-face meeting with a judge.

“My job was to prepare all the information for the judge before the court hearing. I loved my job but needed to get out of the cold weather in Maine, so after I retired I moved to Florida. I love living in Florida except when the heat index climbs over 100 degrees.”

Even in hot temperatures, Roberta stays active. She runs more than six miles every other day and regularly plays pickleball in the gated community where she lives. Recently, an excursion to the Keys resulted in a dental emergency.
“My daughter, son-in-law and I were visiting a lion safari, and for lunch we bought some sandwiches on hard bread,” Roberta explains. “While biting into the sandwich, my front tooth broke in half.”

After returning home, Roberta consulted with a neighbor who recommended she visit Huda Aljonaidy, DDS, at Blossom Dental and Facial Aesthetics in Ormond Beach. During that visit, Roberta expressed concern over more than just her broken front tooth.

“I had a lot of upper teeth that were going bad, and on my bottom jaw there was an old partial that I’d had for years that was worn out and ill-fitting,” Roberta describes. “I should have had that partial redone so it fit and looked better, but I’d resisted doing that.

“Dr. Aljonaidy told me she could improve my bite by taking out the teeth that were going bad on top and fitting me with a denture, and by making a partial for the bottom using a new material. I said, Okay, let’s do it.”

Rapid Advancement

“Dental technology has improved dramatically since Roberta received her original partial, and my office has remained up-to-date on those advances,” Dr. Aljonaidy explains. “As a result, we can offer patients better solutions using materials that are more comfortable and more aesthetically pleasing. That’s what we did with Roberta.”

The high-tech improvements began in 1985, when computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) were first applied to dentistry.

CAD/CAM technology revolutionized the industry because it uses an optical camera to take virtual impressions of patients’ teeth. From those images, dental restorations, including crowns, dentures and partials, are designed and fabricated.

“For almost 100 years, there were few changes in the way partials were made,” Dr. Aljonaidy educates. “Then CAD/CAM technology became available, and the process advanced rapidly.

“At that point, dentists became concerned with finding a material to integrate with the technology to create partials that could survive the heat and mechanics of the mouth. We wanted to create partials that were aesthetically pleasing as well.

“My new partial feels like a part of me. It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t move and it acts like real teeth.” – Roberta

“Initially, we relied on partials with metal frames, which are strong and durable but not aesthetic pleasing. They don’t look natural. The colors of the mouth are predominantly pink and white. Metal partials have a silver tone. Dentists have to work hard to hide the metal in the mouth and achieve an aesthetic result.”

Several years ago, a more natural-looking material was developed, but it lacked strength and durability, so it was only used for temporary restorations. A natural evolution was to combine this natural-looking material with metal frames.

“We call those partials hybrids, but dentists have to work twice as hard to integrate the two materials mechanically,” Dr. Aljonaidy explains. “I finally decided that I was going to create partials in a smarter way using my
CAD/CAM technology.

“That was made easier when Solvay Dental 360 introduced a new material called Ultaire™ AKP. It is a high-performance polymer that is tooth-colored, flexes like bone and is highly resilient. Ultaire AKP is 60 percent lighter than metal, more comfortable and more biocompatible than previous materials used for making partials.”

What first attracted Dr. Aljonaidy to Solvay partials was their aesthetics and natural feel, and that they’re as strong and durable as metal partials. When Dr. Aljonaidy learned that four out of five patients favored them over metal partials, she worked to become a certified provider of Solvay Ultaire AKP partials.

Solvay Ultaire image by

Ultaire™ AKP

“Not all dentists can offer Solvay partials to their patients,” Dr. Aljonaidy notes. “Their practices must first become certified by the company. To achieve certification, I submitted designs I created using my computer and CAD/CAM technology, which were then audited and approved by Solvay. Besides Blossom Dental and Facial Aesthetics, there are few, if any, dentists in the area with Solvay certification.”

“Unbelievably Comfortable”

Dr. Aljonaidy used the unique combination of CAD/CAM technology and the Ultaire AKP polymer to create a lower partial for Roberta, who is quite happy with her results.

“The new partial is unbelievably comfortable,” she describes. “I can still feel that I have an upper denture, but I can’t feel anything on the bottom of my mouth. My new partial feels like a part of me. It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t move and it acts like real teeth. And no one can tell it’s fake.”

Roberta was impressed by Dr. Aljonaidy from their first meeting. It didn’t take long before Roberta trusted the dentist to restore her smile.

“My first reaction to meeting Dr. Aljonaidy was to think, She’s a smart cookie who knows her stuff,” Roberta remembers. “She knew right away what was going on in my mouth and what I needed. I really like Dr. Aljonaidy. She’s very friendly and gentle. I was never in pain throughout my treatment, and she was very reassuring.

“Everyone at Blossom Dental and Facial Aesthetics is friendly. If I’m sitting there, someone always comes up to me and asks, How are you doing? It’s a nice place and I like their kindness and attention. I highly recommend them.”

* Patient’s name changed at her request.
Print This Article