Inside Dental Technology
IDS: Your Dental Compass
World’s largest dental show points the way to new directions in the dental industry.
As one of the oldest cities in Germany, Cologne often lures international visitors with its rich cultural history. But this March, the vibrant metropolis drew 115,000 dental professionals looking for a glimpse of the future—at the 34th International Dental Show (IDS).
Teeming with close to 2,000 manufacturers and suppliers, the Koelnmesse exhibition center housed a dizzying array of new products and innovations. The most buzz-worthy included the next generation of digital impression systems, the latest enhancements to CAD/CAM systems, and new high-performance, millable materials. Attendees also got the latest scoop on shifts and alliances that are shaking up the industry. Always an excellent industry compass, IDS once again pointed attendees toward the direction in which dentistry is headed.
Intraoral Impression Scanners
The most notable news at IDS came from 3M ESPE and Straumann, who joined forces with Dental Wings to establish "an open global standard software for the dental industry." Both the 3M ESPE Lava™ (www.3MESPE.com) and Straumann CARES® (www.straumann-cares-digital-solutions.com) CAD/CAM systems will adopt DWOS™ (www.dental-wings.com) as their core digital software platform. In addition to establishing connectivity between the two companies, the platform will offer users access to additional manufacturing equipment and processes—from CAM milling to 3-D printing solutions. The trio is encouraging other companies to join the collaboration to "shape the platform’s future."
Similar to the Mac/PC debate, battle lines are beginning to form between the open-architecture software systems of Dental Wings and 3Shape, especially in light of the IDS debut of 3Shape’s new TRIOS® intraoral scanner (www.3shape.com). It will be interesting to see which companies align with which software platform. Perhaps Heraeus Kulzer was one of the first to join the 3Shape side, announcing its intention of promoting TRIOS to its clinical client base. Planmeca Oy also jumped on board with a new chairside delivery unit designed specifically for TRIOS.
The sleek design of 3Shape’s TRIOS impression scanner is a departure from its predecessors. Shaped much like an operatory impression gun, the digital scanner balances firmly in the hand, with the ergonomic handle providing steady control of the device. A unique autoclavable scanner tip on the powder-free device allows the user to rotate the scan source from the mandible to the maxilla, capturing up to a quadrant in 25 seconds. The impression-scanning device and screen monitor are mounted on a flat, small-footprint stainless steel delivery unit, which offers Wi-Fi wireless network connection for cable-free mobility.
Italian manufacturer MyRay also showcased its digital impression solution, the iD3 scanner (www.my-ray.com). The device can scan at a fixed distance of 0 mm to 18 mm from the teeth and does not require the user to apply powder spray or take the scan at a fixed angle. Marketed by intellidenta as the IODIS intraoral scanner (www.intellidenta.com) and by Clōn 3D as the Progress IODIS (www.clon3d.com), this device is very likely the same scanner that Zfx (www.zfx-dental.com) and Biodenta (www.biodenta.com) showcased at IDS this year.
densys3D announced it should receive FDA clearance for its MIA3d™ intraoral scanner (www.densys3d.com) this month. Weighing only 200 grams, MIA3d is one of the lightest intraoral scanners on the market and will be very competitively priced, according to Jacob Pankovski, vice president of densys3D.
Among the most innovative materials introduced at IDS was Ivoclar Vivadent’s IPS e.max Press Multi ingot (www.ivoclarvivadent.com), the first polychromatic lithium disilicate press ingot. Designed to eliminate time-consuming porcelain layering, the ingot will be available sometime this summer and is indicated for the fabrication of esthetic monolithic anterior and posterior crowns as well as veneers. With a flexural strength of 400 MPa, the ingot comes in one size and nine popular A through D colors, plus one bleach shade.
Several industry leaders introduced new highly translucent, monolithic zirconia milling blanks for the production of CAD/CAM designed and -milled, full-contour crowns and bridges. The Ceramill Zolid from Amann Girrbach (www.amanngirrbach.com) can be sintered at a lower 1450°C temperature to minimize the risk of material damage. Wieland Dental’s ZENOSTAR Zr translucent line
(www.wieland-dental-systems.com), which should be available in June, offers a group of pre-shaded milling blanks that come in four translucent shades. The NexxZr® highly translucent, monolithic, zirconia milling blocks from Sagemax Bioceramics (www.sagemax.com) also offer a flexible sintering temperature, ranging from 1450°C to 1550°C.
Amann Girrbach also introduced Ceramill Neox, a unique non-precious alloy blank that can be milled in an unfired state and, therefore, can be milled dry. After sintering in a furnace specially developed for the material, the Neox frameworks attain final hardness. GC Initial IQ One Body Press over Zircon (www.gcamerica.com), with pre-blended ingots and Initial IQ Lustre Pastes NF, made an appearance at IDS. Formulated specifically for fully anatomical contour pressing, the technique is designed to optimize productivity while offering improved consistency and esthetics.
EOS introduced PA 2105, a new plastic material for its FORMIGA P 100 laser-sintering unit (www.eos.info). Designed for the automated production of models from digital design data, the material is said to produce models that exhibit high mechanical strength and thermal stability for optimal fit control and veneering.
White Peaks Dental Systems also showcased a wide range of milling materials—from two grades of titanium and a chrome cobalt nickel- and beryllium-free milling blank to translucent zirconia, PMMA, and residue-free wax milling blanks (www.white-peaks-dental.com).
CAD/CAM Systems and Refinements
Once again, the show featured a wide range of CAD/CAM systems—from the huge, robotically managed industrial units down to even smaller, more affordable desktop units. Among the more notable were two new systems from Wieland: the ZENOTEC Mini and the ZENOTEC Easy. The ultra-compact Mini lives up to its name. About the size of a microwave oven, the affordable Mini sports four-axis milling geometry, an automatic tool change and measurement device, and can mill zirconia, acrylic, and wax materials. With expected US availability in the third quarter of 2011, the unit comes with ZENOTEC CAM basic software for blank nesting management. With no launch date slated yet, the ZENOTEC Easy mirrors the ZENOTEC T1 without the automated material delivery unit, making it more affordable while still maintaining the advanced features and milling indications of the larger unit.
Sirona introduced a completely overhauled software platform for its chairside CEREC® and laboratory inLab® CAD/CAM systems (www.sirona.com). The re-designed, user-intuitive interface helps even the novice to operate the system and offers existing users the ability to create multiple restorations simultaneously and to mill implant surgical guides chairside.
Dental Wings launched its new 7Series scanner, which not only has an expanded scanning volume and a faster scan time, but also scans impressions as well as fully articulated models. Its new fully automatic scan and design multi-die application can produce 30 final coping designs in approximately 15 minutes.
BEGO USA announced the opening of its new North American production center in Rhode Island. The center opened this month and has the capability of producing precision-made copings, anatomical crowns, multi-unit bridges, and rapid-prototype wax patterns. Metal frameworks will be produced using selective laser-sintering, a process that the company invented and patented more than 10 years ago, according to Christoph Weiss, president of BEGO USA. "This innovative CAD/CAM process not only produces a high-quality metal framework, but also gives laboratories new innovative manufacturing efficiencies and savings," he says. This internationally recognized company also has undergone a corporate re-design, with new branding unveiled for the first time at the company’s IDS booth.
Roland displayed the new open-architecture DWX-50 (www.rolanddg.com), an affordable and compact five-axis milling machine. The unit features a five-station automatic tool changer, integrated air blower, and dust collection system, along with the capability of milling complex dental arches,
abutments, bridges, and copings from zirconia, PMMA, and wax.
New to IDS this year, DWS srl showcased their DigitalWaxD® series of Rapid Manufacturing systems (www.dwssystems.com). The high-speed, high-resolution industrial 3-D rapid-prototype machines are suitable for creating wax copings, frameworks, and models from RF casting resins and RD digital-impression resins.
From Furnaces to Teeth
Scheduled for a US launch in July or August, the Zubler Vario 200 porcelain furnace (www.zublerusa.com) is designed to eliminate inconsistent firing results. The precision of its newly designed firing chamber limits firing temperature variances in the chamber to a mere 6°C to 8°C versus the typical 24°C to 26°C. The unit features a power fail control system to assess firing status after a power loss, a Z-Dry feature to control time and temperature, and a targeted temperature and compression system that regulates the temperature descent rate to prevent thermal shock.
Sirona also rolled out the new inFire HTC furnace, with a sintering speed of 90 minutes for restorations of up to five units.
A unique implant bar system, introduced by Cendres+Métaux (www.sfi-bar.com), allows fabrication of stress-free, two- and four-implant-supported removable dentures. The SFI-Bar® is compatible with most implant systems and can be individually shortened via a telescope-type connection for a stable fit.
While this is a mere snapshot of thousands of new products and trends re-shaping the dental industry, it reveals the central theme that dominated IDS 2011—the deep impact digital technologies are having on this industry. As digital processes becomes more integrated into every dental discipline, IDS will continue to showcase the latest technologies to aid that revolution. If you missed this year’s conference, save the date for the 35th International Dental Show on March 12-16, 2013, in Cologne, Germany.