Inside Dental Technology
Bench Tools & Equipment
The equipment and tools used at the bench are the workhorses of the industry. In spite of the integration of automated processes into the production workflow, these burs, layering brushes, polishing wheels, articulators, magnifying loupes, casting machines, and furnaces represent the myriad analog processes remaining in the fabrication of crowns, bridges, dentures, implant restorations, and more. From pouring and trimming models, to waxing and pressing or investing and casting, to grinding and layering or injecting, these specialized tools are the dental technician’s “must-haves” to deliver an exceptional final product.
This year, new argon sintering furnaces, as well as adapter kits that convert standard porcelain furnaces to argon sintering furnaces, were introduced to manage the newly launched green-state chrome cobalt millable metal for constructing crown and bridge frameworks. Advanced iterations of existing furnace models also made their debut. Sporting revamped designs and re-engineered internal workings, these pressing and firing furnaces promise more even heat distribution, self-testing features, and fully customizable programming. Also launched this year were sintering furnaces promising thermal web technology for more even heating and delayed start-up.
For the artisan, a new bleach shade guide with 29 shade levels to facilitate accurate shade changes during the bleaching process, a mixing tray and brushes designed to meet the artistic demands of discerning ceramists, a water system accessory for rinsing and storing ceramic brushes, and new finishing and polishing discs are just a few examples of the bench tools and equipment that found their way to the dental laboratory market in 2013.