"NobelProcera is a process, not just a product line," said Hans Geiselhöringer, global head of NobelProcera & Guided Surgery, during Nobel Biocare's Media Day held at its production facility in Mahwah, New Jersey, in May. NobelProcera and NobelGuide, linked through the NobelConnect Platform scheduled to be released in the next year, will provide a common communication and case planning platform for the clinician and technician, allowing prosthetic-driven surgical planning for implants and immediate placement of a prefabricated prosthetic and the option for an immediate placement of a temporary solution on the implants. "We won't be dental technicians. The job description of the dental technician will change in the future. We will see a specialization generating the professions of dental engineers and dental designers," he continued.
Central to the change in workflow is the new NobelProcera™ optical scanner that scans impressions as well as models. It features conoscopic holography technology, a co-linear technology that allows the scanner to scan angles up to 240o, and an open-air design that's neither light nor temperature sensitive. The open design allows for simple placement and removal of both impressions and models.
The new scanner was developed through Nobel Biocare's partnership with Optimet, a leader in optical measuring solutions, and features new front-end software developed by BioCad Medical, Inc., which Nobel Biocare acquired at the end of last year. Designed by a technician, Jean Robichaud, CDT, the software includes new design solutions for bars, custom abutments, crowns, bridges, waxups and cutbacks and combines the language of dental technology with the intuitive interfaces of interactive technologies, including warning systems and cross-sectional views.
Responding to customer demand for alternative fabrication materials, the company is expanding its material options beyond alumina and zirconia to include titanium and cobalt-chromium for crowns and bridges, as well as acrylics for burnout patterns and temporaries; these are scheduled to be on the market by the fourth quarter. The materials come with a five-year warranty and material authenticity certificates to ensure the use of FDA-approved products. Also available soon: models milled from digital data using a 5-axis milling machine.
Considered the pioneer in the technology as well as centralized manufacturing, Nobel Biocare acknowledges it's had a number of relatively quiet years in the CAD/CAM marketplace. However, the new partnerships and product developments that have been announced since the beginning of the year are all part of its renewed focus on CAD/CAM. "We're changing our company structure, philosophy and direction," explained CEO Domenico Scala.