November/December 2011, Volume 32, Issue 9
Published by AEGIS Communications
Dental Arts Labs Focuses on Restorative Excellence
Founded in 1934, Dental Arts Laboratories, Inc. (DAL) was among the first dental laboratories in the United States to offer a comprehensive range of removable and fixed osseointegrated implant restorative services. According to Scott Clark, Executive Vice President, the family-owned company has always focused on providing the highest level of comprehensive, full-service dental laboratory support, specializing in implant prosthetics and esthetic rehabilitation. Today DAL operates eight dental laboratories and is on the cutting edge of digital technology, offering customers a variety of new design and product alternatives.
Ryan Johnson, Chief Technology Officer, explains that DAL has a penchant for staying on top of ever-changing technology. “We have options when fabricating restorations in-house. We can utilize any scanning and designing platforms, two types of 3-dimensional (3-D) print technologies, and wet- and dry-milling platforms,” he says. “Our dedicated research and development staff explores and tests the latest equipment, software, and materials, and gets the techniques dialed in before going live on production cases.” He adds that the company works closely with industry leaders to ensure that it uses the best technologies for each individual case.
Johnson sees a bright future for digital technology in the laboratory and its ability to provide predictable, highly esthetic restorations that continue to become more affordable to dentists and patients due to decreased labor costs. “The utilization of digital technology has allowed us to create high-strength crowns and bridges with virtually perfect contacts, margins, and fit on a consistent basis.”
DAL’s proprietary Spark Erosion electro-machining technology, Johnson says, allows for the production of the innovative Spark Erosion fixed/removable bridge, a telescopic secondary bridge restoration that fits precisely to a screw-retained primary bar, creating a fixed-bridge effect that can be easily removed by the patient for hygiene access.
“This unique hybrid design application allows for maximum esthetic and phonetic design, making it ideal for maxillary edentulous and partially edentulous cases.” He explains that any lost tissues are replaced by a “feathered flange” for proper lip support and maximum phonetics, and because it provides maximum strength, durability, and stability, it is ideal for Class I, II, and III jaw relationship.
Describing how digital technology has enabled the company to offer a number of new design and product alternatives, Johnson explains, “We now offer CAD/CAM custom-milled titanium and zirconia abutment and bar cases with package pricing that is competitive with stock solutions but provides a better patient outcome and also allows for predictable pricing.”
Digital technology, says Johnson, also makes it possible to “preview” dental outcomes—for example, temporary restorations can be created digitally to fabricate provisionals that allow the patient to “test drive” a new smile prior to producing the restoration in the permanent material.
Johnson notes high growth rates for DAL’s monolithic full-contour products, including the IPS e.max® lithium disilicate. He says that porcelain-fused-to-zirconia (PFZ) continues to be a viable alternative to porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), and calls DAL EZ Esthetic Zirconia “a highly esthetic alternative that features premium Noritake layering and press porcelain for vital, translucent esthetics, and single restorations and bridgework up to 16 units.”
DAL’s fastest-growing product line, says Johnson, is its newer full-contour zirconia restorations. “Our popular BruxZir™ Solid Zirconia and our newest ZenoStar Translucent Full Zirconia both offer monolithic high-strength full zirconia restorations (chip-proof) that are ideal alternatives to posterior PFMs, PFMs with metal occlusals, and full-cast metal crowns, and conservative preparations as thin as 0.5 mm with feather-edge margins and conventional cementation.”
Clark says the company remains committed to its founding ideals. “From our DAL Signature award-winning anterior restorations to our highly esthetic line of removable rehabilitations, our understanding of clinical demands, case design, and technology selection ensure that our clients receive consistent, high-performance results.”
Dental Arts Laboratories, Inc.
241 NE Perry Ave
Peoria, IL 61603-3625