Dental CAD/CAM systems continue their advance – a central topic at the IDS 2011

Current developments in CAD/CAM technology – Intra-oral and extra-oral digitisation – CAD/CAM and digital X-rays in prosthetics and implantology – Wide range of materials for more opportunities in practice and laboratory – a main theme of the IDS

Digital high-technology processes increasingly determine the day-to-day work in dental practice and laboratory. This is especially true where the precise design and production of classic or implant-supported dentures are concerned. In the case of high-value full-ceramic restorations the number of cases since the beginning of this millennium is in the high tens of millions – undoubtedly a success for modern CAD/CAM technology. “Today, this scientific and technological progress incorporates all of the disciplines of dental medicine. The importance of digital processes for the opportunities of the team of dentists and dental technicians can be characterised without exaggeration as revolutionary,” explains Dr. Martin Rickert, Chairman of the Association of German Dental Manufacturers (VDDI). Today, users have available digital methods that enable the precisely fitting and economic design and manufacture of crown and bridge frameworks up to and including complex implant-supported superstructures.

The continued development of CAD/CAM technology has been accomplished by years of intensive research and development work on the part of science and the dental industry. In the meantime, digital design and manufacturing processes have firmly established themselves in most practices and laboratories and have leant important momentum to the disciplines of prosthetics and implantology in particular. Dentists, dental technicians and surgery staff can optimally acquaint themselves with the state of the art in digital technology and receive advice from manufacturers at the International Dental Show (IDS), which takes place in Cologne from 22nd to 26th March 2011.

Over the last years, the dental industry has developed innovative optoelectronic equipment systems for the non-contact intra-oral acquisition of the surfaces of the teeth. These systems can combine a large number of individual measurements of spatial coordinates of the preparations or teeth taken from different angles under the special, particularly difficult conditions of the oral cavity to create a complete model dataset. Such model calculations sometimes also require corrections – due to the individual soft tissue status or because of the different translucence of the tooth surfaces – to be applied in order to ensure the necessary measurement accuracy.

In addition to these subtractive, indirect processes which use CAD/CAM to manufacture dental prostheses from material blanks by removing material, additive, direct processes are also used in dental prosthetics. So-called rapid prototyping technologies enable a cast to be made in various ceramic, plastic, or metal materials directly from the CAD program. Modern processes such as laser sintering, stereolithography or fused deposition modelling can build up the necessary layers of material successively and with high precision until the final form of the restoration has been reached without the need to manufacture a mould in advance. Dentists and dental technicians will have a unique opportunity to gain a comprehensive overview of the latest concepts in dental CAD/CAM technology during their visit to the IDS 2011.

“From 22nd to 26th March 2011, the International Dental Show in Cologne – the world’s largest trade fair for dental medicine and dental technology – will provide trade visitors from dental practices and dental laboratories an ideal opportunity to talk to specialists from the exhibiting companies, experts and experienced users. Here, they will be able to address the whole spectrum of modern CAD/CAM processes and current developments in dental digital technology,” says Dr. Markus Heibach, President of the VDDI.

IDS takes place in Cologne every two years and is organized 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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