Digital Dentistry Is Growing Stronger
At Ameritech, we work to prepare all of our students for their careers after graduation. From labs and lectures to clinical rotations and externships, our graduates gain a fuller, more experiential understanding of nursing and dental lab technology than any textbook can provide. We also look for leaders in every industry to give an insider’s look at the career field, and this week we’re pleased to welcome Salt Lake Dental Lab as a contributor to our blog!
Digital Advancements in Dental Labs
Times have changed, and they continue to change for dental professionals. Digital dentistry was just an idea 20 years ago, but today, it’s a growing reality. Dentists are now able to send digital impressions to dental labs anywhere in the world. If you’re a dental lab technician or want to become a dental lab technician, it’s essential that you know how to use a computer to accept digital impressions, design cases, and communicate with a milling machine or outsource partner. It’s important to learn the fundamentals of designing crowns and dentures, but the fundamentals will only take you so far; in this day and age, you need to learn how to use computers, milling machines, and get comfortable with designing on a screen instead of hands on with wax, metal, and porcelain. According to Dental Economics:
“The intraoral scaner market is expected to double or triple in the next couple of years as dentists become more open to new and evolving technology. An increased number of scanning solutions in the marketplace is in itself driving the adoption rate. Moreover, our patients have increased access to information, which is driving their preferences for digital.”
More and more dentists are buying intraoral scanners and milling machines, which can be a double-edged sword for dental technicians. Because some doctors are able to design and mill crowns in their own office but others still need a dental lab’s help, we need to be more creative in the industry. We need technicians who are good with technology and able to help doctors adapt to this new way of doing dentistry.
According to Lab Management Today Magazine, around 40 percent of dental labs are using a full in-house digital system, and the number is growing by the year. The benefits of having an in-house digital system include faster turnaround time, better quality and materials, and improved accuracy with impressions. LMT Magazine also said that around 60 percent of crown and bridge cases are metal-free material designed and milled with digital technology. Digital dentistry is growing and as dental lab technicians we need to adapt with it, as we’ve done for decades. We shouldn’t ignore the growth of digital dentistry but embrace it and grow with it.
Related Resource: Here’s a Look at Some of the Latest Dental Lab Technology
Digital impressions are the present and future
If you’ve ever worked with traditional impressions, you’ve probably seen a lot of crowns with improper fit. This is the biggest issue with traditional impressions; they upset a lot of patients. Digital impressions help solve the problem of inaccurate cases due to impression material. Digital cases are starting to grow as more and more dentists invest in digital scanners, and this will make your life as a technician easier. Because impressions will be more accurate, you won’t need to question if the doctor’s impression is good or bad.
Digital impressions are an amazing technology, and there are now myriad companies that create digital technologies for the dental world, with new ones entering the marketplace daily. This is a good sign for dental lab professionals. These tools can help you become a better technician and will help dentists provide labs with higher quality information so you can do your job better and leave your patients happier.
Related Resource: Practical Advice for Your First DLT Job
Salt Lake Dental Lab is a full-service, digital dental lab in Utah. They’ve been in business since 1906 and have seen many changes in the dental industry. They believe that patients come first and that processes and procedures should be done correctly and efficiently every time.