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    The top 10 developments in dental technology in 2017

    2017 has been a year of advancements ­— not in tools themselves, but in how they impact the industry.

     

    Techs with computer

    7. Digital impressions     

    We have more and more doctors sending us digital impressions with the different products out there,” Keating says. “For us, it’s just crazy how we went from a couple a week to hundreds now.”

    Keating is amazed at the changes in the industry. As someone who was used to getting impressions and pouring them up, casting alloy and opaquing, he was always a bit uncomfortable with the shift to digital. But for him and his lab, it was far beyond time to dump analog. 

    Trending article: Are digital impressions REALLY the better choice?

    “And a lot of that is going to the wayside,” he says. “I see it’s going more digital as we go forward.” 

    Keating knows that digital impressions have been around for years, but it wasn’t until the last year that he really saw a difference in his own lab. 

    “I think more of our doctors are embracing it,” he says. “For years, I’ve been telling my doctors to hold off. I wasn’t very excited about digital. But it really made the systems more predictable and the dentists are getting better with it. Digital impressions have been huge for us this year, and it’s just a neat thing to see the quality and consistency that we’re getting from the restorations that we’re making and hear the feedback we’re getting from our doctors — they’re getting blown away. 

    “When we make restorations, there’s nothing worse than when you have occlusion that’s off and the doctor has to grind on your restoration to get it to fit. I always say it’s like buying a new car and having to smash the bumpers to get it into the garage. I don’t want the dentist to have to re-polish it. I want my crown to have little to no adjustment. Digital impressions are just amazing. So, 2017 has really taken off for us at my lab as the year of the digital revolution.” 

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