Cooperating partnerships enhance process reliability
Interview with Michael Spiegel, Product Manager All-Ceramics - CAD/CAM at Ivoclar Vivadent
Dental technicians have, to a certain extent, a luxury problem: the range of products, materials and processes is getting larger and larger - and more confusing. This leaves many wondering: “What is the right approach? What offers the most reliability? How do I minimize uncertainties during processing?” Guidance is required.
By working together, material and equipment manufacturers can help users find their way around the many options available to them. This is the case if manufacturers cooperate with each other to offer a coordinated range of products and procedures. The goal: more process reliability for the user.
Ivoclar Vivadent has been successfully pursuing this path for some time now. The company's collaboration with renowned CAD/CAM manufacturers has been running smoothly and is being intensified on an ongoing basis.
Which collaborations has Ivoclar Vivadent so far entered into?
Michael Spiegel: Ivoclar Vivadent is successfully working together with partners in the field of CAD/CAM hardware and software. They have made a strong contribution towards the success of IPS e.max CAD, IPS Empress CAD and Telio CAD. Specifically, we have entered into cooperating partnerships with Sirona, KaVo, Planmeca and Wieland.
Why has Ivoclar Vivadent initiated these partnerships?
Michael Spiegel: We know that many equipment manufacturers recommend our CAD/CAM blocks for use with their units but we have no way of checking if our materials are processed correctly. Trade shows such as IDS clearly demonstrate: the number of CAD/CAM manufacturers is large. Many of them recommend certain materials without being authorized to do so. Such a situation creates uncertainties in terms of what materials to use and how to process them.
By working together, we can increase reliability and trust: the processing method recommended for the materials is subject to a clearly defined validation process. Both partners together determine the processing procedure to ensure that the final outcome is fit for purpose. This is a clear benefit for users. For instance, they can be assured that they are processing their IPS e.max CAD blocks using an approved milling strategy. In so doing, risks can be avoided. They can afford not to worry as much about the quality of their restorations. And that is exactly what we are aiming for: a final result that leaves nothing to be desired.
Fig. 1: Label for equipment suitable for processing IPS e.max from Ivoclar Vivadent.
How do users feel about your cooperating partnerships? Have you had any feedback in this respect at all?
Michael Spiegel: It's rather the other way round. Often, customers contact us because they have been using a non-authorized system and all of a sudden they run into trouble. For instance, they would tell us about chippings that have occurred when processing our blocks. However, customers who use an authorized system tend to get far less often in touch with us because processing runs smoothly. An example of positive feedback is the response of many users to IPS e.max CAD: the interest in this product is huge. All the more so because users know that the recommended combination works really well.
What other benefits do these collaborations provide for users?
Michael Spiegel: Users are given a designated contact - either at our company or at our partner's. This is an enormous advantage when you need support. The collaboration is also beneficial to us and the equipment manufacturers. Time and again, new and even better solutions are found. These improvements will eventually benefit our customers in their day-to-day work. For instance, our software updates are aimed at consistently improving the work processes. On training courses too, the users benefit from the close collaboration between us and our partners: Everything fits together as if formed from a single mould.
How important do you think are the partnerships with the above CAD/CAM manufacturers for the success of the business?
Michael Spiegel: These collaborations allow us to take advantage of synergies which, in the end, will be beneficial to our customers. Jointly we offer our customers optimally coordinated and validated processes that incorporate a high level of quality and deliver high-precision restorations. In a nutshell: We owe a considerable part of our own success to the collaboration with these strong partners.
How can users get an overview and information about the existing collaborations?
Michael Spiegel: The best way is to visit the Ivoclar Vivadent website. All current partnerships and links to their websites can be found by clicking through to > Company > Our Cooperating Partners. An overview shows which CAD/CAM system can be used for which materials and indications.
What does the term "Authorized Milling Partner" by Ivoclar Vivadent mean?
Michael Spiegel: An "Authorized Milling Partner" (AMP) provides laboratories with the option to outsource the digital manufacturing of dental restorations made of CAD/CAM materials from Ivoclar Vivadent. These partners are basically certified milling centres offering processes that are coordinated with our materials. This means: customers (dental labs) can send their STL files to an AMP to be sent back high-precision restorations with an excellent surface quality. However, this is only possible if the correct parameters are employed - for the CAD in the lab and the CAM in the milling centre. Ivoclar Vivadent supports the AMPs by providing them with the correct parameters, tools and materials to ensure that customers receive restorations that meet a certified quality standard required for clinical success. AMPs offering customers coordinated products and systems from Ivoclar Vivadent can now be found all over the world.
Fig. 2: Label for milling centres specializing in the digital manufacturing of restorations made of CAD/CAM materials from Ivoclar Vivadent.
What is the difference between these partnerships and the partnerships with equipment manufacturers?
Michael Spiegel: Customers (labs/practices) who decide to manufacture their Ivoclar Vivadent CAD/CAM restorations in their own lab or practice, can choose between different equipment manufacturers.
If they decide to outsource the milling process, they can choose an AMP - depending on the country, selection of materials, range of indications and delivery times. Whichever decision they take, customers can be sure of one thing: The result will always be a highly accurate restoration consistent with the specific properties of the material.
Will there not always remain a certain level of residual risk? Complete reliability- and therefore perfection - is surely not attainable?
Michael Spiegel: One-hundred-percent reliability is never possible. However, you can come close to that. I would put it that way: Those aspects that we can influence we will influence.
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