Your laboratory strategy: Combine analog with CAD/CAM!
Have you already thought about how to work even more efficiently and still have more time to improve your restorations esthetically? Read here about how CAD/CAM can help. We asked Dieter Grübel, Dental Technician and Technical Trainer at the ICDE Ivoclar Vivadent in Schaan/Liechtenstein, about his opinions on this subject.
Mr. Grübel, what do you find fascinating about CAD/CAM?
Dieter Grübel: The rapid development of CAD/CAM in recent years fascinates me in particular. The digital possibilities in the dental field have been redefined. At last, digital technology makes efficiency, precision and reproducibility possible in every laboratory.
My enthusiasm for CAD/CAM is also due to the vast variety of high-quality, biocompatible materials available, such as feldspar, lithium disilicate, zirconium oxide, cobalt-chromium alloys, biocompatible titanium, acrylics and wax.
What is your opinion on the CAD/CAM in the dental laboratory?
Dieter Grübel: CAD/CAM has become an indispensable partner in the laboratory.
How do you rate the importance of CAD/CAM for the dental technician?
Dieter Grübel: I am of the opinion that CAD/CAM will change this profession for the better. Dental technicians are under enormous time pressure on a daily basis, with ever increasing price competition and a high expectation from the patient to produce a high level of esthetics and quality.
CAD/CAM supports dental technicians in the implementation of complex working steps and delivers reproducible precision. New opportunities have been created. As a result, dental technicians are able to concentrate on perfecting esthetics and function.
Can you explain this in more detail?
Dieter Grübel: The computer-assisted production chain reduces the amount of manual working steps and therefore the risk of manual processing errors. Three examples:
The digital articulator saves time-consuming articulation.
The digital margin recognition is a big help and can be clearly
seen due to the enlargement.
The digital design of restorations is made easy by the software.
Do you have a definite example, where CAD/CAM is an advantage with analogous work?
Dieter Grübel: The press and CAD/CAM technology complement each other perfectly. With a little practise, the digital design is carried out quickly and easily. The restoration can be milled efficiently and precisely with the relevant wax (ProArt CAD Wax yellow), precisely matched to the press indication. The wax is characterized by its high surface homogeneity, detailed reproduction of shape and texture as well as excellent fitting accuracy. The digital wax-up of bridge constructions is a particular advantage, because there is no wax distortion and the risk of an inaccurate fit is therefore eliminated.
Which CAD/CAM tool do you use in the press technique?
Dieter Grübel: The wax pattern must be sprued correctly in order to achieve optimum press results. That is why I use the software add-on “Digital Press Design”. The press sprues are positioned automatically. The risk of a press failure is reduced, since no more errors can occur from overheating the wax or from having placed the crown edges too closely together. A lot of time is saved during the daily laboratory routine - and great safety is provided in terms of precision.
Why will dental technicians continue to be irreplaceable?
Dieter Grübel: Only dental technicians will be able to master complex works in fixed and removable prosthetics, which require in-depth specialist expertise and good material knowledge. And this won’t change in the future. The art of imitating natural dentition, with all its characteristics such as shade, shape, translucency and brightness, will continue to be achieved by the skilled dental technician using layering ceramics.
And finally, what would you like to tell the readers?
Dieter Grübel: Let us take advantage of the possibilities provided by digital technology in our everyday laboratory routine. Let’s bring more dynamics, safety, precision and efficiency into the laboratory! The wide range of process-supporting materials allows us to implement all indications in the laboratory. CAD/CAM is a worthwhile investment.
The future of dental-lab technology has long since begun. The digital revolution (CAD/CAM) has also reached the dental world. Are you interested to know where dental-lab technology is heading? We have summarized the six most important trends for you based on interviews with experienced technicians, lab visits and talks with experts.
Learn more by consulting our new list, which can be downloaded for free.