3M, Straumann adopt Dental Wings software

March 21, 2012

Cologne, Germany-At Europe’s largest dental trade fair, the International Dental Show, three companies, Dental Wings, 3M ESPE and Straumann today announced they are joining forces to create an open global standard software platform for use across a range of dental applications.

Cologne, Germany-At Europe’s largest dental trade fair, the International Dental Show, three companies, Dental Wings, 3M ESPE and Straumann today announced they are joining forces 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 involved believe 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. Standardized software is expected to be a main driver of the digital market.

To advance industry standardization, 3M ESPE and Straumann have agreed to adopt Dental Wings’ software platform DWOS as the core operating software in their CAD/CAM solutions. The companies believe the combined resources of several partners can be expected to achieve significantly more than those of a stand-alone provider, and this initiative has excellent prospects for establishing the leading software platform in the field.

Thanks to its focused specialist team, Dental Wings has established itself as a leading developer of dental software. 3M ESPE and Straumann add strong expertise and leadership in their fields including digital solutions. The combination of resources will accelerate the development of DWOS into a best-in-class, preferred system. Both 3M ESPE and Straumann will continue to build their own specific applications on top of the core software adding value for their customers. Other companies are encouraged to join the collaboration and to contribute to shaping the platform’s future. Straumann, 3M and Dental Wings all support the initiative to extend the DICOM standard to the prosthetics value chain.

The software platform

The scope, quality and functionality of the DWOS platform provide a solution for communication, design and collaboration within dentistry. 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. The DWOS platform is being positioned to become the leading open software platform of choice, bridging clinicians with manufacturers.

Dental Wings to form a separate dedicated software entity

In order to focus its businesses, Dental Wings has decided to transform its scanner and software businesses as two separate entities. The software business will operate under a new company brand, ‘Open Digital Dentistry’, which will develop and market DWOS and concentrate on dental software development.

“Without leveling the playing field through standardization, the challenge of developing new process work-flows 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. Creating a standard will reduce the confusion caused by incompatible systems and will drive growth in digital dentistry," said Naoum Araj, President of Dental Wings.

"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. That is why Dental Wings is committed to making DWOS an open and collaborative software platform that offers flexibility and ensures fit.

"In order to expand DWOS to cover most dental applications, we have decided to create a new independent entity dedicated to, and focused on, dental software. This will be located in Switzerland.”

Larry Lair, President and General Manager of 3M ESPE, commented, “We believe the collaboration of industry leaders is needed to support an open software standard. 3M ESPE is pleased to join forces with Straumann and Dental Wings to establish the global software standard for digital dental design. 3M ESPE is one of the pioneers of digital dentistry, bringing over 10 years of experience in delivering precise productive solutions to dental laboratories as well as high quality, trusted restorations and materials to clinicians. Combining this experience with strong partners like Straumann and Dental Wings will enable us to deliver high quality precise workflows from a single open platform, eliminating the need for technicians to learn multiple systems.”

Beat Spalinger, President & CEO of Straumann, said, “Customers want functional standardized software that connects them to multiple data sources. At the same time, they want maximum flexibility and full assurance of predictability, quality and reliability. The initiative we are announcing today enables us to fulfill those requirements. The concept of our partnership will enable us to offer the advantages of a standard open system in combination with additional differentiated Straumann applications. These add value for customers. They also provide seamless connectivity throughout the workflow and ensure full Straumann quality.”

Combined resources to drive development

Software requirements will increase with the development of new integrated functions. However, development funding is limited and inefficient because it is channeled by competing companies to multiple, individual, closed systems, most of which serve the same purpose. Dental Wings, 3M ESPE and Straumann believe the combined resources of several partners can be expected to achieve more than those of stand-alone providers, and in view of this, the companies believe DWOS has excellent prospects for becoming the leading software platform in the field.

The general adoption of standardized software that meets present and future challenges is expected to offer a number of benefits to dental professionals, particularly laboratories. For instance, the possibility of using a common platform and working with different companies and brands. In addition to enhanced simplicity, flexibility and convenience, a standard platform also would save time in addition to reducing training and investment risk.

Dental Wings scanners already feature the DWOS software platform. 3M ESPE is launching its upgrade for the Lava Scan ST Design system at the IDS. Lava Design 7 is based on DWOS. Both the 3M ESPE Lava Chairside Oral Scanner and the iTero® intraoral scanning system supplied by Straumann can already be used with DWOS. Straumann’s pre-operative planning software is already connected to DWOS, while the company’s CARES CAD/CAM system is currently being adapted to incorporate it.

3M ESPE, Straumann create streamlined implant workflow

Additionally, Straumann and 3M ESPE announced they are collaborating to develop a streamlined digital implant workflow that connects the Lava Chairside Oral Scanner C.O.S., 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.

This new development will enable dentists to use the Lava C.O.S. 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. This connection is facilitated by the DWOS which now serves as the core software behind the new Lava Design 7 Software and CARES CADCAM systems. This move allows both companies to channel their resources into developing one common software platform.

3M ESPE will continue to offer clinicians attractive restorative material solutions - from monolithic all-ceramic and hand-layered porcelain to zirconia restorations to new technologies to enhance the design and production of CAD/CAM crowns. In addition, the companies are working on offering new 3M ESPE CAD/CAM restorative materials through Straumann CARES, improving the implant workflow from both companies.

“Dentists and oral surgeons have come to rely on Straumann for extensively documented, clinically validated and practice-proven implant systems. Similarly, dentists have come to rely on 3M ESPE for innovative material science and digital technology they can trust," Lair said. "This new collaboration allows us to further focus future innovations on these two areas. By combining the offerings of these two great companies, we look forward to delivering a solution that will transform the way implant restorative dentistry is done."

“Straumann customers appreciate the broad range of options and flexibility we offer them," added Spalinger, "By collaborating with 3M ESPE as a leading provider of innovative materials and technologies, we will be able to offer one of the best ranges of prosthetic materials and options on the market. And we will make the selection and implementation of these simpler, faster and more convenient through advanced digital solutions based on a common software platform."

About Dental Wings

Established in 2007, Dental Wings is a leading provider of dental CADCAM solutions and is specialized in the development of design and manufacturing software dedicated to different dental market segments. The company, which is privately owned, also develops, manufactures and sells 3D scanners to the dental industry. It is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

About 3M ESPE

3M ESPE is a pioneer in dentistry, bringing trusted brands to clinicians worldwide for half a century. The company manufactures and markets more than 2000 products and services designed to help dental professionals improve their patients’ oral health care. 3M ESPE is also a pioneer and leader in digital dentistry -- processing millions of successful digitally constructed restorations via the Lava Network for the last ten years. 3M Health Care‚ one of 3M’s six major business segments‚ provides world-class innovative products and services to help health care professionals improve the practice and delivery of patient care in medical‚ oral care‚ drug delivery and health information markets.

About Straumann

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, the Straumann Group is a global leader in implant and restorative dentistry and oral tissue regeneration. In collaboration with leading clinics, research institutes and universities, Straumann researches, develops and manufactures dental implants, instruments, prosthetics and tissue regeneration products for use in tooth replacement and restoration solutions or to prevent tooth loss. Straumann products and services are available in more than 70 countries through its broad network of distribution subsidiaries and partners. Straumann entered the field of digital dentistry in 2007, though the acquisition of etkon AG. The Group moved into computer guided surgery and intra-oral scanning in 2009. It manufactures CAD/CAM scanners and design software – in addition to being a world leader in implant dentistry. In 2010, the company accelerated its push into digital dentistry through the in-house development and launch of the completely new Straumann CARES CAD/CAM system.