Where would we be today without the benefits of modern technology? Life is unthinkable without all the practical gadgets and applications which we could not have imagined only a few short years ago: mobile phones, smartphones, tablet PCs and laptops, virtual clouds, apps, just to name a few.
This new technology has changed our private lives quite radically, and more so even our professional lives. How about your dental lab? Have you gone digital already or are you still thinking about it?
The right time: Now (or never)?
What do you aim to achieve as a dental technician every day? Most likely you will want to offer your customers top quality results quickly and reliably. But making changes in the way you work has its risks. It is important to weigh these risks up against the anticipated benefits that new technology has to offer – in this case digitization.
It is a fact that new technologies have made the work of laboratory technicians easier in the past. But before the laboratories modernized all they all faced the same question: Will the changes really make us more productive, better, faster and more accurate? In retrospect, the answer proved to be affirmative in most cases.
We would like to share a few thoughts on why you should be taking advantage of the far-reaching benefits of digital technology not only in your private life, but also at work in your dental lab:
The time has come and so has the technology
Many dental laboratories have already embraced digital procedures. Digital technology has outgrown its infancy and the associated “teething problems”. In the meantime, closed digital process chains have been developed for laboratories. They cover every single step of a process from start to finish, in other words, from the intraoral scanning of the teeth to the designing and fabrication of the restoration. And experience has shown that laboratories tend to be more productive when they take advantage of digital technology.
Now you may have some reservations about the financial burden. There’s no need to worry. The changeover from manual to digital techniques can take place in small steps, because analog and digital processes can be combined without any problems. For example, you can construct a restoration digitally and then press or cast it according to conventional methods. As a result, many different possibilities are available, depending on your preferences and the situation of your laboratory. You can combine manual with digital methods or you can do everything digitally – the choice is yours! By combining methods you can use your CAD systems more efficiently and allocate your investments more appropriately.
Conclusion: Optimally combined
Digital technology will help you to maintain a competitive edge. However, manual methods may come in handy in some cases. Both approaches can be synergistically combined. At some stage, you will have the same situation as you may already have at home: Your PC and mobile phone are usually enough, but sometimes smartphones, virtual clouds or tablet PCs can offer additional conveniences. If you do not choose to go digital right now, you can still choose to do so at a later stage. Just keep your options open!
Would you like to find out more about digital manufacturing methods? Ivoclar Digital is an experienced digital partner who supports dentists and dental technicians throughout the digital process chain. Particular emphasis is placed on clear and straightforward processes.