"We're being challenged by new technology. What we've been doing for almost 40 years is no more. Do you want to spend hours casting and investing or do you want to spend more time on veneering and esthetics? Change your thinking, change your life," said Australian laboratory owner Robert Hill to the attendees at Nobel Biocare's Dental Laboratory Forum held June 26 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Hill, who has transformed his business model to embrace CAD/CAM, told attendees about his newest employee, "Sam"--a NobelProcera scanner--that's streamlined production and allowed him to incorporate new materials into his lab's repertoire. "We're getting wonderful results from milled chrome-based materials," said Hill.
The forum--which focused on innovations, esthetics and the impact of new technology in the laboratory--was part of Nobel Biocare's three-day Global Symposium that brought together experts from around the world.
Dr. Stefan Holst--a professor at Friedrich-Alexander University, Nürnberg, Germany and head of its CAD/CAM research laboratories--dispelled two myths in his presentation, Truths and Myths of Digital Dentistry and Their Impact on Clinical Success:
Myth: Zirconia will do away with the need for base metals. "Base metals will always be needed because zirconia is not indicated for all cases. In the past, we were afraid of corrosion and reactions with base metals but that's completely changed with CAD/CAM milling. Today, milled substructures are completely homogenous and have changed the quality of the final product," said Holst.
Myth: Implant bars are too pricey. "In the past, implant bar-supported dentures were thought to be an expensive option, but CAD/CAM milling has lowered these costs and implant bars may now be an option your clients can consider. Communicate this to your accounts," he recommended.
Other forum presenters included Naoki Aiba, CDT, Oral Design, owner of Science Art in Monterey, California, who offered hints for working with zirconia; and Luc and Patrick Rutten, owners of a laboratory in Belgium, who covered new trends and materials in esthetic implant dentistry.
Nobel Biocare's Global Symposium, held June 24-27 also at the Waldorf Astoria, attracted 1,500 world-renowned dental professionals--including nearly 100 technicians--from 46 countries and was the first in a series of similar events to be held in Asia and Europe throughout 2010. The symposium featured educational seminars and hands-on training sessions on clinical treatment concepts, clinical applications, emerging technologies and advanced treatment planning, as well as exhibits focused on Nobel solutions.
"The large attendance and great interest attest to the fact that the treatment modalities discussed by the best dental experts in the industry are of great relevance to dental professionals. We are very fortunate we could call on such a prestigious group of opinion leaders to share their expertise in an atmosphere of partnership and cooperation," said Domenico Scala, CEO.
Attendees were also treated to a tour of Nobel Biocare's newly expanded production facility in Mahwah, New Jersey. New features include production lines for titanium and cobalt chrome crown and bridge options as well as for Telio provisionals and titanium for overdenture bar production. The company has also expanded the use of in-process and post-process Coordinate Measurement Machines for better quality control of all bars and Procera Implant Bridges.
"Our new capabilities allow labs to provide restorative dentists with any type of precision milled restoration they need, from temporaries in acrylic to restorations in zirconia, alumina, titanium, chrome cobalt and, soon, IPS e.max," says Jerry Vogel, director of NobelProcera North America.