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    9 things you REALLY need to know about digital imaging

    Unpacking terms like open, closed and everything in-between.

     

    Portals

    Once scanned, the file might have to be transferred between partners—for example, from the doctor’s office to the lab or from the lab to a milling center. To accommodate this, vendors have set up “portals,” which allow the information to be shared securely and compliantly. Portals can also offer added features, like communication tools.

    “When it comes to Sirona, we do everything through Sirona Connect,” Ulmer says. “And Sirona Connect does not require any licensing fees, neither for the doctor nor for the laboratory. There are no licensing fees; there are no data plans or anything associated with it. In addition to the connection between dentist and laboratory, we also add chat and Skype functionality to that portal to enhance communication between dentist and laboratory.”

    Some portals also allow conversion to different file formats. For instance, the 3M Connection Center offers such ability.

    “We can also transmit case status and alerts to the lab and to the doctor’s office from the Connection Center,” Coonradt says. “Our portal also allows us to convert our files to different export formats. We can export an exocad-compatible file. We can export a 3Shape-compatible file. We can export a Dental Wings-compatible file. We can export a UDX-compatible file and then we also have access for the labs to download that open STL file.”

    The NADL's Bennett Napier on challenges and opportunites facing labs

    In order to get the most out of these portals, and depending on the lab and how deeply they want to invest in their CAD/CAM solution, it might make financial sense to partner with a milling center.

    “Most intraoral scanners have portals like that to get their scans to the lab,” Ferguson says. “Some of the labs might have to buy additional software to receive it. A company like Carestream, which is really open, has Carestream Connect. They make the STL files available to the lab, and the lab can just bring in the STL files and use them however they want. 3Shape has Communicate, in which case the doctor can just send the files, but the lab has to have software in order to accept those files, and that’s where partnering with companies can really help and save a few bucks until they can actually see a return on investment.”

    Continue to page eight for more...

     

    Robert Elsenpeter
    Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Dental Lab Products. He is also the ...

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