10 Questions: Sirona Dental Systems

March 21, 2012

Issue 1

01. As the pioneer of chairside CAD/CAM, how does Sirona view the role of the lab technician now and in the future? We see it is a more and more integrated role in which the technology will allow the technician and the dentist to work more closely together and in a more efficient way and in ways that enhance the type of dentistry that they’re doing.

01. As the pioneer of chairside CAD/CAM, how does Sirona view the role of the lab technician now and in the future?

We see it is a more and more integrated role in which the technology will allow the technician and the dentist to work more closely together and in a more efficient way and in ways that enhance the type of dentistry that they’re doing.

02. How do labs benefit from the dental offices that have CEREC chairside systems?

With the large digital impression user base that we have, there are numerous practices set up to send cases through the system. The infrastructure is already in place, and this is a big advantage for the inLab customer who instantly gains a new target audience for marketing efforts.

03. How does accepting chairside digital impressions via CEREC Connect create efficiencies for a lab?

When looked at per case, the efficiencies are sometimes larger for a small lab. The costs of picking up cases are eliminated. There also is the immediacy of the cases. A case with CEREC Connect can be reviewed while the patient is still in the chair, and remakes can be reduced or even prevented.

04. CEREC inLab can now work with data from 3Shape systems and the inEos Blue scanner can export data in the open STL format. Why did Sirona decide to open the system in this way?

In earlier days there were only a few players in the CAD/CAM world and a few components. At that point we felt it was hard enough to make sure that within a closed and well-tested system we can ensure success. Now there are a larger number of players and also a larger number of applications available. We have chosen a selectively open approach and STL output where we feel we can ensure quality results. With the selectively open interfaces we offer, we have tested those and optimized those. If an application out there complements the type of work and the types of indications we can offer with our system, then we want our customers to gain access to this.

05. Why should smaller labs consider your inEos Blue scanner and inLab software as their entry point into CAD/CAM production?

We definitely think the inEos Blue is a good stepping stone into CAD/CAM. It is the fastest and the most affordable scanner on the market. Including the computer it’s priced below $20,000 and comes with all the software. At any time laboratories can decide if they want to upgrade to their own milling capabilities or whatever else they might want to do.

06. How does Sirona keep labs that invest in the inLab system today from falling behind?

We are a company very committed to R&D and innovation. What we invest in R&D some companies don’t make in revenue. Also, we make it a habit to release a major software upgrade every year and labs receive those software upgrades. We believe our customers should benefit from Sirona’s digital solutions to increase their competitiveness and improve the level of dental care for their patients. Ultimately the expertise we put into the product comes directly from the laboratory technicians.

07. What software improvements are on tap for 2012?

We are currently in the process of getting ready for inLab 4.0, which will be a major upgrade that will allow labs to manipulate multiple teeth at the same time. You can scan diagnostic wax-ups and soft tissue for implant cases. There’s a whole bunch of new features that are being introduced in the new software. Now we are also at a point with 4.0 where we can go into highly sophisticated, multiple tooth smile design cases.

08. What are some of the newer material options and capabilities of the MCXL mill?

Stack milling allows up to 24 units to be milled from a single block. Model milling allows labs to fabricate a contact model for a quick turnaround type of case. Our inCoris TZi is a wet-milled BruxZir™. It’s been hard for us to keep up with the demand. It’s really growing very fast. In addition to that, the e.max CAD continues to be a very hot material on our machine. To my knowledge inLab is still the only non-industrial milling machine that processes the e.max CAD and makes it available to any size laboratory.

09. What does Sirona look for from its partners offering materials for inLab systems?

We want to make sure the solutions we offer, the material companies we partner with and the materials we use provide solutions that address the needs of the different type of laboratories out there from an esthetic standpoint, from a financial standpoint and from an efficiency standpoint.

10. As a company committed to technological innovation, what does Sirona view as the next frontiers for dental CAD/CAM?

In the last 26 years we’ve always made CAD/CAM better. Every year we’ve been making it a little bit better. We are now at a point, just like with consumer electronics, that we can integrate different technologies with each other, whether they are from the Sirona family or from other companies. We want to makes sure we provide a platform for dental professionals to leverage their digital technology investments. We will work hard on integrating anything else out there that will be beneficial to laboratories and dentists. We feel we have a very good team in place that is working closely with dental laboratories and dentists to identify what their needs are and then feeding that into our R&D department and making sure we address the right priorities with the right solutions.