Conventional working methods and CAD/CAM in dental technology: combine classical craftsmanship with digital working steps
In the long term, classical craftsmanship and dental technical expertise will always remain indispensable in dental technology. However, as an experienced dental technician, you can use digital working steps to enhance your manual skills and make your processes more reliable. Learn more about the advantages of a clever collaboration between conventional processes and CAD/CAM in this report.
Conventional procedures and CAD/CAM: it’s not a question of either/or
Many dental technicians are afraid of the moment they have to make the difficult decision: analogue or digital? But it doesn’t have to be a choice of either/or since both are possible together. CAD and CAM in dental technology cannot, should not and will not replace classical craftsmanship and therefore also dental technical skills and expertise. Even you, an accomplished dental technician who values solid craftsmanship, can digitalize certain steps and enjoy the advantages.
Two essential advantages
There are essentially two very clear advantages, that a combination of analogue and digital can provide you with in your everyday routine:
- More processing safety
The following 2 examples show exactly what you can expect:
Example 1: the press technique
Are you a fan of classical press technology? If so, then you will know: The press technique involves many finely detailed working steps. In particular, the preparation of the wax objects requires a lot of skill and time. Consequently, this is a high-risk procedure in which errors can easily occur. Why not simplify things and work more efficiently? Allow the digital process to help:
- Mill your wax objects from a suitable wax disc (e.g. ProArt CAD Wax yellow).
- Then sprue them.
- Subsequently, invest them and press them with IPS e.max Press.
The advantage of this procedure: You can work more efficiently because, firstly, you save time and, secondly, reduce risks. The IPS e.max Digital Press Design software consists of the two add-ons Wax Tree and Press Multi. These software solutions make waxing and spruing procedures quicker and increase the safety and efficiency of the entire pressing process. In addition, you can increase the use of your milling machine.
Example 2: casting technique
Well yes, the good old casting technique is losing its importance more and more. Even so, there are cases where it is still needed today – and will still be need in the future too.
You can save yourself the time-consuming task of waxing-up the framework pattern by hand. Allow the digital process to help: In particular with larger frameworks – such as multi-unit bridges – it takes a relatively long time to wax-up the object by hand. This is our tip to you: Design your wax framework on the computer and mill the CAD design directly in wax. Then, you can cast the framework in the metal alloy of your choice. If something goes wrong during casting, you can quickly re-mill the exact same wax object by simply pressing a button. This way you can avoid the risk of having to start the work again from the beginning.
Make your work reproducible!
It’s the reproducibility which makes CAD data particularly interesting for you. If you work digitally, you will always have the collected data available long term. Use your CAD data for the production of the temporary restoration as well as for the final restoration. Avoid having to perform the same procedure twice.
Conclusion: it’s worth it
In this post, we've shown you two examples of how a clever collaboration of conventional and digital procedures can achieve great results even more safely and more efficiently. Think about it! Use the digital possibilities – such as CAD/CAM in dental technology – as an opportunity, as help and as support.
You’ll see. It’s worth it.
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.
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