Renfert Flashlight – The new blog feature by Jürgen Pohling
Today we invite you to see the bigger picture. Our new guest author Jürgen Pohling shares his thoughts with us for the first time. The consultant for dental communication & marketing will periodically cover various topics of the dental world in our new “blog feature” Renfert Flashlight.
Analog and digital dental technologies belong together – this became very apparent throughout 2015 during various podium discussions. There were many examples of how traditional manual instruments and equipment were successfully combined with modular and system applications. Whether prosthetic planning or model fabrication, restorative, framework, monolithic structure,full denture fabrication or ceramic veneering: digitally fabricated objects are often transformed into full-fledged functional and esthetic restorations when complemented by manual craftsmanship.
Different as in the past, not every restoration today is forcibly done digitally if it can be produced more quickly using analog technology. MDT Andreas Kunz from Berlin is a good example of this approach. Before beginning work on an order, Kunz checks which technology enables him to do the work most efficiently. Efficiency is the intelligent combination of time and commercial factors without having to compromise on product quality. Assistant professor Dr. Jan-Erik Güth and MDT Josef Schweiger (both from Munich) describe it as follows: “We should not try to copy analog techniques digitally, but learn to use the additional benefits offered by digital technologies!”
And that is exactly how dental technology works today: The desired restoration as agreed upon between patient, dentist and dental lab is achieved using the most relevant – or combination of – available techniques and materials. During the analog times, it may have been clear how restoration fabrication worked, today with the additional digital possibilities it is important to plan the process thoroughly. Regardless of the fact whether the work is produced completely by a CAD/CAM system or whether only a single component such as a scanner is used – and whether the framework fabrication is produced industrially or through a partner lab.
Of course for the fabrication process for some restoration materials like Zirconia or Hybrid-Ceramic, mainly digital, is clearly defined. However if for example lithium disilicate glass ceramic or zirconia reinforced lithium silicate ceramic is chosen, both digital milling / grinding and analog press technology come into question. By the way: ceramic press-on technology for (ceramic) frameworks can sometimes be a suitable option.
Currently there are more material, design and production options available for individual patient restorations than ever before. Even more choices are available when you add the current trends in composite materials complemented by new developments in software and 3D printing. Dental technicians that master analog, as well as digital dental technologies will be capable of combining classic as well as modern materials and processes to get the best results.