Inside Dental Technology
April 2014, Volume 5, Issue 4
Published by AEGIS Communications
Passion for Precision and Artistry
Expanding business using Amann Girrbach’s millable materials
It was the opportunity to take advantage of a specialty dental market where esthetic- and implant-driven cases were more plentiful that brought Alexander Wunsche, CDT from Germany to the shores of the United States. Educated in Germany’s rigorous dental technology program and after operating his own laboratory for more than a decade, he decided to sell his German-based business and in 2010 joined Klaus Lampmann at Zahntechnique, Inc.in Miami, FL, a high-end cosmetic laboratory dedicated to staying at the forefront of dental technology. Wunsche was no stranger to keeping abreast of the latest restorative materials and equipment—fourteen years earlier he was one of the early adopters of CAD/CAM technology, actually owning one of the first systems sold on German soil. The machinery, the digital process, and the ability to control all aspects of a case appealed to his passion for precision and artistry.
Converting over to an in-house digital workflow also meant jettisoning the more time- and labor-intensive aspects of the laboratory fabrication process—eg, waxing and casting—that can introduce human error into any case. Most importantly, the cost-savings of not having to send models out for the scan, design, and mill processes kept not only control of case accuracy, timing, and esthetics, which are critical to Wunsche, but also control of costs and profit margins. However, his ultimate satisfaction comes from the intensely personal relationship he forms when handling each stage of a case as it moves through the fabrication process, knowing the end result is the ideal solution and esthetic outcome for that patient.
So when it comes to choosing the restorative materials he recommends for each case, Wunsche is extremely selective. He wants materials that he can trust will give him not only a strong, durable, long-term result, but also ones that will afford the best opportunity to achieve the esthetic outcome he wants, whether he is satisfying the discerning tastes of their existing client base of high level customers, or customers looking for a more economical solution. “We haven’t been able to expand our business until recently,” says Wunsche. “Our high fee schedule and our high attention to detail and esthetics attracted a narrow, tightly-focused customer base who sent us only their high-end esthetic cases. Now we have millable materials that provide the opportunity to appeal to both segments of the market and allow us to cross-sell to our existing clients while attracting new customers looking for a more economical solution.”
The introduction of Amann Girrbach’s millable non-precious Sintron chrome cobalt and Ceramill Zolid zirconia materials give him in-house CAD/CAM fabrication solutions that appeal to a broader customer base. “The economical Sintron material allows us to help our customers with insurance-based cases that require keeping the cost at minimum and new customers who want the esthetics we offer but at a more economical cost. And with the new Zolid pre-shaded zirconia milling blanks, we finally can get the high translucency we need for achieving an esthetic outcome as well as consistency in color throughout the restoration,” explains Wunsche. The Sintron material also means they can get away from hand-casting non-precious copings and large multi-unit frameworks, which always presented the risk of miscastings or introducing impurities into the alloy during the casting process and facing a potential remake. Using the Ceramill Motion 2 milling unit (Amann Girrbach) and Argotherm sintering furnace (Amann Girrbach), he simply mills and sinters the non-precious substructures, allowing him to keep metal-based production in-house.
Because the percentage of all-ceramic restorations the laboratory produces falls in the range of 85% to 95%, the ability to have a milling block that is homogenously pre-shaded has not only sped up production time but solved a long-standing problem clinicians and technicians have had with previous generations of zirconia. “Until now we had to dip our milled substructures in a shading liquid to achieve a base or final color,” said Wunsche. “Not only did dipping slow down production time, but it also resulted in less color consistency on the surface of the framework. In addition, the minimal penetration of the dip shade into the milled material caused problems with full-contour restorations chairside.” When Wunsche’s customers went to make occlusal or bite adjustments, they would grind through the dip shade and be left with a very unesthetic white spot where the core material would show through.
Excited to be at the forefront of new technological developments, Wunsche looks forward to testing and working with the next generations of materials and equipment introduced onto the market. In the meantime, he is committed to helping educate others in the industry on the benefits and use of CAD/CAM technology. “Our business plan for the future will include a CAD/CAM training program,” said Wunsche. “There is no CAD/CAM training program in the US so we want to be the first to help others integrate this technology into their daily workflow.”
Disclaimer: The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.
Amann Girrbach’s Ceramill Zolid zirconia system has been expanded with three pre-shaded blanks and a wide range of shading liquids, including the 16 Vita Classic shades. These enhancements deliver improved color depth and shade stability, while also saving laboratories time and money. Like other Ceramill materials, Ceramill Zolid is now compatible with most 98 mm milling systems, thanks to the new Multiframe adapter.
For more information, contact:
Amann Girrbach America