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01 Apr 2014 | Press Release

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The dental technician as central materials specialist for complex treatments: prosthetics & implantology at IDS 2015


Successful prosthetic or implantological therapeutic measures require intensive collaboration between dentist and dental technician right at the early stage. In doing this, "backward planning" is becoming increasingly important as this places the patient in a position where, in the literal sense of the word, they can orientate their desired treatment goal in the consultation discussion in advance by means of their own – virtual! mirror image. The teamwork of dental practice and laboratory that is required for this is supported by a multitude of new developments from the dental industry: further-developed CAD / CAM software and its increasing networking with digital imaging procedures, along with various materials innovations for alternative manufacturing processes. Here, the dental technician attains a central position in the realisation of complex treatments in their capacity as process manager. The International Dental Show (IDS) in Cologne from 10th to 14th March 2015 offers trade visitors the optimum opportunity to comprehensively experience dental technology innovations from the manufacturers.

For example, modern planning software permits the computer-assisted production of e.g. drilling templates for navigated implantology or CAD / CAM-fabricated implant superstructures. These methods enormously increase precision with implantological and prosthetic therapeutic measures and also involve the patient early in the planning of their dental prosthesis. In consequence, the result is a high-quality dental prosthesis that entirely corresponds with the individual expectations and the financial framework of the patient.

Today, laboratories also no longer have to make huge investments to benefit from innovations in dental technology that relate to backward planning. This starts with the decision to have certain parts of the production process implemented either "labside" or via outsourcing to specialist industrial planning and production centres. In all events, both alternatives lead to precision work that serves the laboratory as an ideal basis for aesthetic improvement – at the same time as further improving operating efficiency.

Nowadays, complex prosthetics or implant superstructures can be produced from digital data sets in completely different ways with very different materials. In addition to milling processes, which have primarily proven their worth with ceramic or (precious) metal materials, build-up processes are increasingly gaining in importance: selective laser melting of powder metallurgic materials, innovative sintering of CoCr alloys and recently the almost universally applicable 3D printing of long-term stable, high-performance composites supplements the classical casting or machining processes.

However, established dental processes are also exhibiting progress: for example, in the event of especially high levels of aesthetic demands, the laboratory today can fall back on zirconium-reinforced glass ceramics that are very tough and hence have a broad range of indications – along with high translucence with chameleon effect. These materials will optionally also be available in future as a pressed ceramic variant, which meets all of the requirements of everyday laboratory life. For the aesthetic veneering of such materials, the dental industry are currently developing optimised ceramics that give dental technicians much greater opportunities for aesthetic configuration. Furthermore, an inherent component in the repertoire of the dental laboratory is zirconium oxide: this highly durable material can be used for the production of fully-anatomical but also fully or partially-veneered prosthetics or implant prosthetics.

From the perspective of the diversity of current developments in methodologies and material science, the dental technician is increasingly assuming the role of supporting process manager, assisting the attending dentist and the patient with decisions relating to the selection and manufacture of complex prosthetic and implantological (super-) structures and materials with their special knowledge and advice.

In particular, this exchange of experience and the collaboration between dentists and dental technicians supports the dental industry with the world's largest trade fair in the sector, the biannual IDS in Cologne. In addition to more than 2,000 exhibitors in an area of 150.000 m2, this must-attend event for dentists and dental technicians also offers an extensive framework programme including numerous product presentations and lectures.

"The cooperation between laboratory and dental practice plays an important role, especially where prosthetics and implant prosthetics are concerned", says Dr Markus Heibach, Executive Director of the VDDI. "The IDS makes an important contribution to successful dialogue between dentists and dental technicians. At the same time, this leading trade fair offers the dental industry an incomparable showcase and discussion forum for those innovations that drive the collaboration between laboratory and dental practice forwards."

IDS takes place in Cologne 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 staged by Koelnmesse GmbH, Cologne.

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