Heraeus Kulzer Dental has celebrated 80 years of its flagship Pala brand of denture teeth and acrylics with an event in Sydney attended by the company's distributors, key opinion leaders and many of its long-time customers.
"Pala continues to be the first choice in dental prosthetics for discerning dental technicians and prosthetists," said Jeff Lauretti, Managing Director of Heraeus Kulzer Dental Australia. "From humble beginnings eight decades ago, the Pala range now incorporates PalaVeneer, Pala Premium, Pala Idealis and Pala Mondial tooth lines; PalaXpress, PalaXpress ultra, Palapress and Palapress vario cold cure acrylics; Paladon 65 heat curing denture acrylic; as well as supporting products like the Palajet injection system; Palamat elite pressure pot; Palatray; Palavit; Palaseal; Pata Meter; Palaclean; Palabond; Pala Lab Putty; Pala cre-active; and more.
"It's a complete solution for the creation, repair and maintence of dentures that is used daily by thousands of labs globally."
Patented 80 years ago in 1936, Paladon was the first Kulzer product to be released. Kulzer was the inventor of PMMA-based resins for denture fabrication which has since become the "gold" standard globally. It was dental technician Gottfried Roth who discovered that Polymethylmethacrylat (PMMA) was a great material to produce denture acrylics due to its consistency and Kulzer subsequently patented this technology. Hence, in 1936, Paladon replaced dentures made out of vulcanised natural rubber with porcelain teeth and the heat cure acrylic success story began.
The cold cure revolution
Kulzer were not yet satisfied, however, with the time consuming heat polymerisation process that laboratories needed to apply, however, so by the late 1940s, denture acrylics that cured at room temperature had been developed: Rapid Paladon (pink) and Rapid Palapont tooth colours.
These cold-curing polymers were easier and quicker to process by dental technicians; the heat polymerisation process was simply too complex, especially for repairs.
In recent decades, new indications such as hybrid and currently implant-supported prosthetics have presented manufacturers with new challenges. Pure PMMA does not offer sufficient stability. The durability of the acrylic in denture bases and teeth were subsequently enhanced by adding cross-linking molecules and fillers. In modern materials, the acrylic matrix is further enhanced by sophisticated additives to produce resilient denture bases and durable teeth for any indication.
While Pala was the brand for denture acrylics in the last century it is nowadays the brand for a solution system for the prosthetics market. Significant progress has been made regarding procedural solutions. Modern equipment has facilitated more reliable and efficient moulding and curing processes for acrylics.
CAD/CAM technology allows highly precise moulds to be manufactured for industrial tooth production. Researchers are working on high performance dental acrylics that are suitable for computer assisted processing in CAD/CAM systems in dental laboratories.
The evolution continues and 80 years after its launch, the Pala story has only just begun.