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30 Nov 2018 | eLABORATE

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Dynamic digitalisation in laboratories of the future on show at IDS 2019

We can see two sections in the midst of the global development, the analogue and the digital world. There are long-term stable trends (in particular: "the health mega trend") and the fast-beat "bits and bytes" of the digital dental technologies. Those dental technicians who know how to bring these two together, profit the most. To gain a complete overview to allow you to make targeted future decisions, visiting the International Dental Show, 12 to 16 March 2019, in Cologne, Germany, is the best way to go about this.

Several innovation focuses in the digital technologies section are obvious: they were actually what made the processing of certain materials possible or economically viable in the first place. As such, crowns and bridges can comprise of zirconia, lithium disilicate, zirconia-reinforced lithium disilicate, feldspar, hybrid ceramics, high-performance plastics or even alloys containing gold or non-precious metals.

The laboratory is flexible regarding the choice of production options: In-house or outsourcing to a partner laboratory or independent central facility or industrial service provider; outsourcing the production or design and production. Even individualabutments can be ordered centrally or produced in-house today.

Whereas CAD/CAM methods have established themselves for fixed dentures for several years, the computer-controlled production of removable dentures is now also becoming increasingly possible - through to CAD/CAM produced total prostheses. Digital, particularly partly digital processes, will no doubt make this area significantly more interesting for dental technicians.

In this way, total prostheses, individual total prostheses (upper or lower jaw), duplicate and immediate total prostheses can be made in the laboratory using computer-controlled processes, whilst the dentist continues to carry out his work as usual.

As with total prostheses, orthodontics is also considered to be an area that discovered the possibilities of digital at a relatively late stage. Today, the laboratory optionally supports the practitioner by creating virtual set-ups. This enables the bracket positions to be laid down. Subsequently, the dental technician produces the respective equipment and the transfer tray via 3D printing technologies.

This method opens up huge design possibilities to the laboratory: occlusal splints, drilling templates, individual spoons, orthodontic equipment or provisional crowns and bridges - all of these can be produced using 3D printing.

If this satisfies the demands for medical products of the Class IIa, a corresponding appliance (even prosthetic restorations!) can be implemented for printed short-term and long-term restorations.

Furthermore, printing items made of alloy (i.e. cobalt-chrome) makes a wide area of indications accessible (i.e. "digital model cast prostheses").

IDS (International Dental Show), the world's best dental exhibition, takes place in Cologne, Germany every two years and is organised by the GFDI Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Dental-Industrie mbH, the commercial enterprise of the Association of German Dental Manufacturers (VDDI) and is staged by Koelnmesse GmbH, Cologne.

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