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Technical Discussion: IPN

Technical Discussion: IPN

What does the term “IPN” mean?

L.T. Armstrong, DMD: IPN is Dentsply’s copyright. It is their marketing term for Inter-Polymer-Network. It is a chemical reaction in which the cross-connection (or cross-linkage) between the individual long chains of methyl methacrylate is maximized.

Years ago, the first plastic teeth were too soft. They wore away very quickly. Manufacturers have made plastic more wear resistant (harder) by increasing the percentage of cross-connection between the molecular chains of Poly-Methyl-Methacrylate. The latest advance has been the development of an Inter-Polymer-Network. Vita, Ivoclar, and Dentsply have all incorporated this chemical improvement into their teeth. Dentsply has made it popular by copyrighting and marketing their term IPN.

Why do IPN teeth pop off the denture and what can be done?

By using interploymer-networking (IPN), manufacturers made teeth more wear resistant. Unfortunately, there are fewer molecular “spots” left to bond to the denture base. Older plastic teeth wear away quicker but rarely break off the denture base. IPN teeth don’t break away but they do have a de-bonding problem.

To overcome this problem, Armstrong Laboratory grinds diatoric holes in IPN teeth and applies a chemical agent to the underside of teeth to break down the IPN bond in that area.

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