Splint made of PMMA: Manufacturing process

Case developed by Alessio Marrocco -Digital dental technician

In today’s dental technology, technical advances and innovations can no longer be dispensed with. 

As the demands for productivity and precision become increasingly crucial in this dynamic market, flexible and efficient system solutions that result in low production costs are increasingly in demand. Subtractive manufacturing processes are the solution to this tension, thus setting a new revolution in motion.

Picture of a digitally finished splint

These are now increasingly part of the standard range not only in the dental industry but also in milling centers, commercial laboratories, and even directly in the dental practice. Teeth grinding and clenching are a widespread global problem. More and more patients suffer from it. Increasing stress is a significant cause of the primarily nocturnal and unconscious grinding and clenching of the teeth. A grinding or bite splint can help those affected

As a laboratory owner, you can produce splints profitably and reliably. Use digital processes for this. The following text describes the digital production of a splint in detail.


The process chain always starts with the digital data acquisition of the clinical situation. Digital impressions of human dentition are also becoming increasingly

relevant in CAD/CAM technology. Due to the steadily growing use of intraoral scanners in dentistry, conventional impressions of the teeth are being pushed into

the background and replaced by a digitalized process, a so-called optical impression. Alternatively, data acquisition for clinical situations can be carried out using optical measuring methods (scanners). Optical scanners work completely contact-free with the help of sensors. Therefore, steep surface shapes or preparation boundaries can be recorded without restrictions. After the human dentition has been digitally recorded, the splint is designed using

CAD software.

Exocad – Software

Designing CAD
After scanning, the three-dimensional data of the patient are imported into the CAD dental software to design a splint, as in this case. The CAD software used here was exocad. Even the standard version of the software covers many possible indications. The strength of exocad DentalCAD lies in its simple and intuitive handling. The software reflects the analog work processes of a dental technician, which is why even newcomers who are using the software for the first time can easily find their way around. The splint thickness can be determined digitally and has a uniform thickness after milling. 


Millbox proces
Millbox – Software

Millbox – Software

After the splint has been exported from the CAD software, the next step is nesting, i.e., positioning the splint in the workpiece. Millbox – the CAM software from the company CIMsystem, which can be recognized by its attractive, easy-to-understand, and customized user interface, realizes extremely user-friendly handling. After the correct material has been selected (PMMA blank) and the splint has been positioned and pinned, the calculation of the milling data starts. These are then sent to the milling machine.

Milling DWX-52DCi

For our case, we used the DWX-52DCi milling machine from DGSHAPE

DWX Series
Left: DWX-52DCI. Right: DWX-52D

DWX-52DCi: with a 6-slot Automatic Disc Changer, 15-station Automatic Tool Changer, and other automated features, it gives users of all skill levels a compelling, efficient, affordable dental restoration solution. To meet operator requirements, the development process of the DWX-52DCI systems focused on the user-friendly applicability of the milling machine as well as understandable and easy-to-use software. The reduced need for user interaction optimizes the workflow for the result of precisely milled objects

Splint made of PMMA: Material

Thermomemory Effect


Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA for short) is also called acrylic glass or, more often, colloquially, Plexiglas. Due to its high transparency, this material is trendy for splint fabrication.

Apart from transparent PMMA, the flood of new CAD/CAM-capable materials makes it possible to manufacture splints optimally adapted to the patient’s individual needs, not only regarding aesthetic demands but also with an exact adaptation to the dental situation.

Digital technology also makes it possible to realize extravagant patient wishes -color variety like Thermoplastic flexibility with a thermo-memory effect with optimal tension-free 

The industrial polymerization process achieves the highest material homogeneity and thus guarantees excellent long-term stability. CAD/CAM technology also ensures a safe method, eliminating mixing errors (e.g., due to hand mixing). The unique material properties result in an exact adaptation to the tooth situation and exceptional, tension-free wearing comfort for the patient.

PMMA temporaries made
Left: Temporaries made of Multilayer PMMA Right: PMMA transparent splints

Allergy sufferers who cannot tolerate PMMA are also in good hands with digital technology and can be provided alternative materials such as polyamide. Polyamide is also transparent, has very high biocompatibility, is flexible, and is very fracture-resistant. PMMA is versatile and suitable for splint fabrication and, for example, for the fabrication of single crowns and multi-unit bridges up to partial crowns and temporaries in the anterior and posterior regions. However, PMMA can also be used for many other dental indications. The field of application is wide-ranging in digital production.

Final review

Final Splint patient
Finished splint in the patient’s mouth

In the picture, the patient is pleased with the smooth process digital technology has made possible for her. Not only the high wearing comfort has convinced her, but also the fast production.
In conclusion, digital dentistry ensures faster treatments, fewer appointments, and reduced manufacturing costs, resulting in better clinical results.

As it works toward future business expansion, DGSHAPE is promoting activities to reach the midterm objectives of “strengthening the ability to support new dental materials,” “acceleration of global expansion,” and “developing high value-added solutions for the dental industry.”



In the dental market, DGSHAPE must support new materials. Therefore, we pay close attention to material manufacturers’ new product offerings and the needs of patients and dental clinics to offer optimal processing methods as quickly as possible.

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