Digital dentistry: You call your workflow open – but is it, really?

September 20, 2018

Today, many dental companies claim to offer dentists and dental technicians an open dental workflow. But exactly how open is it? Are some companies actually offering a more flexible workflow than others? I believe this is the case. Just hear me out.

What does a closed dental workflow actually mean?

A closed dental workflow means that dental professionals are forced to only purchase products that are compatible with other equipment in that closed system. It means that you will have to use a specific scanbody, model analog or hybrid base that is compatible with a specific library as well as a specific software.

This often creates a big frustration among dentists and dental technicians as they have to invest in a bunch of different scanbodies, model analogs, hybrid bases, libraries and software to create the variety of dental restorations that their customers require. In other words, the workflow becomes complex and restricts the freedom to choose.

Not being able to use the very same dental component, such as a model analog, for digital as well as conventional methods is a limit. A closed workflow like this usually involves more steps and extends the work process. Also, many dental companies offer products that are only compatible with certain milling centres. Leaving you no choice but sending your dental restoration to an off-site milling-centre often adds unnecessary time and cost.

What does a truly open dental workflow actually mean?

A truly open dental workflow, on the other hand, means first of all that dental professionals will achieve a seamless workflow regardless of technique. As a dentist or dental technician, you may work with digital or conventional techniques. Either way, a truly open workflow allows you to make all the choices you need to carry out your work in the best way possible. It doesn’t matter if you have a digital impression from an intra-oral scanner or a conventional rubber impression. You can upload the digital impression directly to your computer software, or you can create a plaster model from the rubber impression and scan the model using a lab scanner. In other words, you can work partly or entirely digitally – it is your choice.

Second of all, with a truly open workflow, all dental components such as scanbodies, model analogs, and hybrid bases can be used with all the major dental implant systems. You can also choose from all the major intra-oral scanners and lab scanners. When designing your dental restoration, you can upload the dental libraries to any of the major CAD software. When you have finished designing your dental restoration and received the STL file, you can open it in any of the major open CAM software. You do not have to invest in a bunch of different dental components and equipment. This simplifies your entire work process and saves both time and cost.

Thirdly, you can choose to mill your dental restoration in-house or at an off-site milling centre – you are not forced to send your designed STL file away and wait for days.

A truly open workflow not only provides flexibility and simplicity but also enables excellent communication between dentists, technicians and patients. As a dentist, you are able to design teeth virtually, show the results directly to your patients, and adjustments can be made at the point of care. Physical boundaries are erased as digital impressions can be sent across the globe in a blink of an eye. By receiving a digital file, prosthetic constructions can be designed directly in the CAM software before sending it to a 3D-printer or milling machine. This means fewer steps and a minimised risk of error. The possibility to use digital techniques ultimately allows for a faster and more efficient workflow.

As every case is different – not everyone fits the mold. This is where a truly open workflow comes in as a necessity to achieve the best results possible.

Discover Elos Accurate Open Digital Solution

So what does Elos Accurate offer, you may ask? A truly open workflow of course! It hardly comes as a surprise – but I think you will be surprised at how much it actually differs from other so-called open solutions on the market.

We have managed to create a strong and highly requested digital workflow. The key to success for Elos Accurate has been to offer our customers the possibility to combine the products from our own brand Elos Accurate with other original dental implant systems. Visit our website to read all about our open workflow and our open digital solution Elos Accurate.

Continued development for Elos Accurate Open Digital Workflow

As much as we are offering our a truly open workflow, there is always room for development and improvement. To us, our digital journey has only just begun!

This autumn, Elos Medtech is launching a new dental analog called Elos Accurate Analog for Printed Models that can be used with virtually any 3D-printers on the market. We have been working closely with a variety of different companies to adapt our new product to different printers and resin materials. This is an entirely new concept that we strongly believe in – while this is not core business for most dental companies, we say it is a necessity for improving the entire digital workflow!

We are determined to stay strong in the dental market and looking to set the stage for the future of dentistry. If we can be at the forefront, I believe more dental companies will jump on the opportunities to drive innovation forward.

 

Now, having read this article, take a few minutes and really think about it: Do you actually use a truly open workflow? Maybe it is not as open as you may think? Or maybe it is! Perhaps you have a different view on the subject? Either way, I would love to hear your thoughts – please share them with me in the comment field below!

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Author

Mattias Torell

Business Development Manager & Technical Adviser Elos Medtech AB

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