As the digital transformation of the dental industry picks up pace, there has been an ongoing shift in impression taking for implant cases, from conventional impressions to an increasing number of digital impressions.
Increase in intraoral scanning
One example of the increase in intraoral scanning has been noticed by Dentsply Sirona Implants and its Atlantis solutions. In 2018, Atlantis abutment production sites received around 10% of their impressions from intraoral scans. That number is expected to exceed 15% this year, says Carl-Johan Runeson, Global Product Manager Digital Hardware at Dentsply Sirona Implants.
The need for a printed model
One of the effects of working digitally is that you literally exclude the analog world, which also means conventional working models. While dental laboratories can choose to set up a workflow without physical models, esthetically demanding cases are greatly helped by a physical working model to finalize the restorations.
Effect on dental laboratories
So what does this mean for dental laboratories? The option for dental laboratories to invest and set up their own 3D printing production line exists. However, this can be both expensive and disruptive to the core business and competence of a dental laboratory. Personnel need to be trained and machines properly maintained and calibrated to deliver reliably high-quality results. There is also an economy of scale present—it is less risky to print many models a day, than just a few.
Supporting the workflow
If a clinician is working digitally, a printed model allows dental laboratories to access all the benefits of a physical model. As Eric Cunningham, Senior Engineer, Research and Development at Dentsply Sirona Implants explains, physical models offer a valuable manufacturing tool for esthetically demanding cases as well as complex, multi-unit cases.
“There are so many variables that cannot be fully simulated in CAD. There is simply too much data to process. The beauty of a printed model is that it gives you a physical world to evaluate your work in,” says Eric. With the ability to observe the topography of the mouth, it is easier to ensure that the crown fits perfectly.
Quality control for dental laboratories
The printed model is therefore a form of quality control for laboratories as well as an opportunity for partner dental clinicians to conveniently prepare for the placement of their patient’s crown.
For more detailed information on printed models, read about the Atlantis Printed Model, intended for use as a working model when ordering Atlantis abutments solutions with intraoral scanning.