November/December 2013, Volume 34, Issue 10
Published by AEGIS Communications
Straumann-Friendly Labs Leverage Technology to Produce High-Quality Restorations
Commenting on how technology has impacted the quality and consistency of the products his company provides, Steve Sheehan, Vice President Laboratory Division, North America of Straumann USA, says, “While quality of manual restorations in general has been high, the precision and consistency that customers get from CAD/CAM–produced products is that much greater.”
For example, he explains, Straumann’s CARES® scanner system has an advanced software capability that makes the design of both simple and complex restorations faster and more precise. “That, coupled with our eight-axis centralized milling capability, ensures that the products we produce are the highest quality and the most consistent they can be,” he says. As with any new technology, Sheehan remarks, it takes time for users to adapt to a new process, but, he maintains, “In the long run, the time and cost efficiency—along with the consistent outcome—provide greater patient and physician benefits.”
Sheehan further notes new and more efficient services Straumann offers its clients as a result of new technologies. By employing Straumann’s CAD/CAM technology, he explains, dental laboratories can send restoration cases directly to the company’s design and milling center, allowing them to access their digital workflow without the expense of owning the CAD/CAM system. Straumann, he says, can also accept a traditionally poured model or wax-up abutment directly from its lab customers and scan and design the case while allowing technicians to review and approve the restoration design before submitting the case for milling.
Technology-aided communication, too, has changed the way Straumann clients access services, interact, communicate, and collaborate. This, Sheehan says, includes a web-based platform that allows dental laboratories to access their service online 24 hours a day. In fact, CAD/CAM technology enables the company to communicate with customers in ways that traditional means of communication do not, he notes, offering this example: “If a customer has a challenge or is having trouble with our software, our technical support technicians can access the customer’s scanner through our tele-service function and make corrections to the design, or troubleshoot a problem right at the customer site. Without that communication ‘link’ this would not be possible.”
Also, thanks to advances in technologies, Sheehan says, Straumann clients can use new materials that offer significant clinical advantages compared with traditional restorative materials. He maintains that the use of ceramic (zirconia) and monolithic (single composite) materials—which, he says, have quality and density characteristics that outperform traditional porcelain and metal compounds—is becoming more common through the use of CAD/CAM technology. “These materials offer the customer many more options in regards to restoration choices than they had prior to the advent of digital workflows,” he says. “Straumann continuously provides an ever-broadening product portfolio in order to keep up with the changing needs of our customers for both digital technologies as well as materials.”
General practitioners stand to benefit “enormously” from working with a Straumann-friendly laboratory, Sheehan insists. He stresses not only the lab’s access to Straumann’s advanced technology products but also its expertise concerning current restorative options. “All of our CARES laboratory partners are equipped with CAD/CAM technology. In addition, ‘digital’ labs tend to be on the front edge of technology advances, both for equipment and materials.”
Sheehan emphasizes Straumann’s ability and desire to support the professional education of both laboratories and dentists dedicated to offering patients high-quality restorations. “Our CARES laboratory partners have access to a wide range of physicians through our dental and lab team contacts, and they can work with us in conducting educational events on such topics as the importance of using original manufacturer components, or the right choice of restorative material. Therefore, a general practitioner seeking the highest-quality restoration for implant- or tooth-borne cases can trust that our labs are equipped to provide the best option.”
With Straumann, Sheehan concludes, dental laboratories are assured a versatile CAD/CAM solution with which to serve the needs of their customers—as diverse as they may be.
Straumann USA LLC
60 Minuteman Rd
Andover, MA 01810