Vendor partnership aims to standardize dental CAD/CAM

2010 10 22 13 46 34 517 3 M Espe Lava Cos 70

3M ESPE and Straumann made two major announcements related to the dental CAD/CAM business at the International Dental Show (IDS) in Cologne, Germany today.

First, the two companies have joined forces with Dental Wings, a dental software developer, to create an open global standard software platform for use across a range of dental applications. The initiative is expected to offer enhanced flexibility, simplicity, and convenience for users, while saving time, costs, and investment risk, the companies said in a press release.

The need for standardization in digital dentistry is acute as the number of different systems and software platforms has risen considerably, adding complexity and confusion for dentists and dental laboratories, the companies noted. Standardized software is expected to be a main driver of the digital market, they said.

“Dental professionals should no longer be locked into specific scanning or manufacturing systems.”
— Naoum Araj, president, Dental Wings

Toward this end, 3M ESPE and Straumann will adopt the Dental Wings Open System (DWOS) software platform as the core operating software in their CAD/CAM systems. DWOS is commercially available as an open system and offers dental laboratories the flexibility of designing prosthetics using data from multiple systems and sources, for instance in-lab model scans, chairside intraoral scans, and impression scans received directly from dental practices. The restorations can be manufactured in-house or outsourced to an increasing number of production centers.

3M ESPE and Straumann will continue to build their own specific applications on top of the core software, and other companies are encouraged to join the collaboration and contribute to shaping the platform's future.

Straumann, 3M ESPE, and Dental Wings all support the initiative to extend the DICOM standard to the prosthetics value chain.

"Without leveling the playing field through standardization, the challenge of developing new process workflows will be impossible -- so we are very excited by this opportunity to create a standard for dental design with two of the dental industry's leading companies," said Naoum Araj, president of Dental Wings, in a press release. "Dental professionals should no longer be locked into specific scanning or manufacturing systems, and we believe that a common platform will revolutionize the dental industry. Our goal is to provide broad access to the most innovative technologies, including scanners, materials, and design/manufacturing services."

In a second announcement at the IDS, Straumann and 3M ESPE revealed that they are collaborating to develop a streamlined digital implant workflow that connects the Lava Chairside Oral Scanner (COS) to the Straumann CARES digital platform for prosthetic restoration of Straumann implants.

The goal of the collaboration is to increase accuracy, simplicity, and productivity of the implant restorative procedure by combining technology solutions from industry leaders, the companies said. This new development will enable dentists to use the Lava COS to transfer digital scan information of the patients' oral geometry to dental labs with the Straumann CARES system. This option also increases the breadth of the Straumann CARES digital offering.

In this new workflow, labs will retain control over the custom digital design of both implant abutments and final crowns.

3M ESPE will continue to offer clinicians attractive restorative material solutions. In addition, the companies are working on offering new 3M ESPE CAD/CAM restorative materials through Straumann CARES.

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