Inside Dental Technology
A Laboratory Family Experiences the Beauty of Precision
Amann Girrbach’s Ceramill
“They wanted us to know what hard work was; the family business is never nine to five,” Patrick Dippel says. Two summers on the golf course was enough, and today, Patrick and his three younger brothers work in the dental laboratory that his parents started in 1980. His brother Tom, who is 2 years younger, started his own laboratory 5 years ago called Minnesota Dental Laboratory, which is housed in the same building as Mississippi Dental Laboratory, but is a separate company. Patrick has been in the business for 18 years.
Patrick has embraced the hard long days that come with the job. He knew that in order to remain relevant, to outsource fewer cases, and to give their clients consistent work with faster turnaround, the laboratory needed to shift into the digital realm. So he and his brother Tom began a long odyssey into finding a system that would fit both small dental laboratories without it being a long-term financial burden. He also wanted to feel confident that such an investment would pay for itself without compromising the value of the products they produce. After considerable and careful searching, he found that in the Ceramill® system from Amann Girrbach America.
“A few years ago, we went to the Chicago Midwinter Meeting, with the intent to buy a system. I had done ROI spreadsheets, set up meetings, and done tons of online research and phone calling,” he says. “Sales people can talk all day, but we wanted to see something in action.” Only the Amann Girrbach Ceramill CAD/CAM system impressed the Dippel brothers. The precision, speed, workflow ease, highly detailed tooth library, range of implant capabilities, the material selection, the ability to mill wet/dry, and the ongoing customer support from experienced professionals who understood their unique needs were the very features that the Dippels expected. Amann Girrbach surpassed their expectations.
After carefully ensuring that this was the right choice, the small business invested in the system in April 2013. Already, the laboratory has seen a return on its investment. “Because of this investment, we’re able to take on more cases. We’ve made almost a full recovery since the recession in 2008.”
Today, Patrick’s brother Tom also uses the software for his four-employee laboratory. He is able to employ the Ceramill software for his guided-implant surgery work by milling the guides out of clear PMMA. He finds the open-architecture feature conducive to making all his software investments work cohesively together, demonstrating another great value of this product. “You can import STL files and nest them seamlessly from any scanner system, from any open STL source,” says Tom.
“The whole system integrates extremely well together. It’s very simplified—the sintering oven, the scanner, and the mill—all is one complete package and they all work seamlessly together. Outside of that, the mill is very versatile and high quality at a very competitive price,” Tom notes.
Patrick has found that even at a great price, he didn’t have to compromise on customer support and care either. He says Amann Girrbach hires people with dental laboratory backgrounds, a true asset for his needs, particularly when he is pressed for time on a case. “They know our concerns. When I call with an issue, they know exactly what I am talking about because they know dental laboratory industry. They aren’t going through a script or having to ask their manager after every question. They know what they are talking about and how to help.
“I can’t imagine getting into this without having support in the beginning. The tech support people are top notch. I only had an emergency once when I put one of the tools in the wrong position while a tool was already loaded in the chuck. They had it fixed the next day by calibrating the mill remotely. The convenience and service is great.”
The Ceramill system is highly responsive to the needs of today’s dental laboratories, Patrick says. “This system is so flexible; it can do everything. I can wet grind an e.max CAD, mill wax, mill a hybrid zirconia implant abutment, wet mill plastic PMMA temps, and even wet mill PMMA surgical guides. It’s not just a dry mill that limits you to wax and zirconia. If you are small lab and want to be in the game and expand your incremental business by offering other things, you have to be flexible,” Patrick says.
“There is a learning curve like with anything in the lab business, but this system is easy enough to learn and make it work if you give it time.” He says, noting that even his father, who did not grow up in front of a computer screen, is able to use the system. “Before CAD/CAM, we were limited to doing porcelain fused to metal, hand waxing, and outsourcing all our zirconia and getting terrible designs and fits. Having our own in-house CAD/CAM technology got us out of our bubble and relieved a lot of frustration. This tool gave us the control to give the patient and dentist a better-fitting, more consistent, and esthetic product, and I really feel good about that.”
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 Desktop CAD/CAM System includes industry-leading scanners, design software, milling units, furnaces, and materials. The Ceramill system gives laboratory owners more control, more business, and more time. Ceramill’s diverse materials and 5-axis milling capabilities give them the control necessary to keep more restorations in house, and offer accuracy and quality that competitors can’t match.
For more information, contact:
Amann Girrbach America