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Test Drive: Embracing a Changing Industry, Whip Mix’s VeriONE Turnkey Digital Solution Makes 3D Printing Accessible to Any Dental Practice

Dental Products ReportDental Products Report October 2022
Volume 56
Issue 10

[SPONSORED] John Flucke, DDS, shares his impression of the new turnkey chairside 3D printing solution from Whip Mix.

Whip Mix Veri EKO 3D Printer

As a technology lover and former psychology major, I have always been fascinated by what technology can do for us but also why we accept or reject things with the potential to change our world. History is full of examples of individuals who rejected new ideas and discoveries. One of my favorites is a quote from Alfred Loomis, MD, an accomplished clinician and luminary in medical education who served as president of the New York Academy of Medicine and the Association of American Physicians in the late 1800s.

The story goes that in 1882, Dr Loomis was told about Robert Koch’s discovery of tubercle bacillus as the cause of tuberculosis. A few days later, Dr Loomis was giving a lecture when he stated, to the delight and laughter of the students present, “People say there are bacteria in the air, but I cannot see them.”

Dr Loomis’ belief system was too strong to allow him to see the truth. This happens often in business, too. In the early days of computing, Ken Olsen, the CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), told colleagues, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” DEC made mainframe computers that were, at their smallest, the size of a refrigerator. A couple decades later, his company was bought by home computer manufacturer Compaq. Olsen was so entrenched in his world of giant computers that he was blind to the concept of smaller ones.

My point is even experts make mistakes regarding the future. If that mistake is made by a business, it can be the end of the business. This is especially true for a company comfortably entrenched in an industry, which brings me to the point of this column.

Whip Mix logo

Whip Mix Corporation began back in 1919. The name comes from a machine they licensed from a dentist that easily and consistently mixed water and gypsum investment powder into the perfect consistency to pour around a wax pattern. That means Whip Mix has been involved in making cutting-edge products to make the creation of fixed dental prosthetics easier since 1919. That is an amazing and admirable mission!

Back when Whip Mix was founded, the lost-wax technique was the common fabrication method for gold prosthetics. The technique still works and is used today, but the profession has evolved. The use of nonesthetic materials such as gold has decreased significantly, and the need to mix investment material decreased with it.

I mentioned resistance to change because it is a common occurrence. A company develops something amazing and new, and the once tiny company has amazing success. However, instead of scanning the horizon for new and better things, the now large company, spends huge amounts of energy and capital to maintain the status quo.

Whip Mix did not do that. They embraced the future and kept on the cutting edge. As Technology Evangelist, I salute them! The company saw the market and profession changing and changed right along with it.

In the past 10 years, dentistry has made an evolutionary jump into the world of 3D. We are now seeing the incorporation of 3D impression/acquisition units (which some call scanners) and the pairing of those devices with 3D printers. This allows offices to print models, surgical guides, occlusal guards, dentures, orthodontic aligners, and even permanent crowns. This market is exploding with potential.

Doctors in today’s high-tech practices are working on ways to develop the best digital workflows. The snag is they only have a deep understanding of half the process. They know dental impressions, and this familiarity helps in choosing the 3D impression system that best fits an office. However, 3D printing is unknown to many doctors. Left to find their own answers, doctors must often work with new and unfamiliar companies because many 3D printer manufacturers are newer brands in the dental industry.

The other piece of expanding an office’s hardware footprint is the concept of compatibility. As a diehard technology lover, I am passionate about the concept of open architecture software and the interoperability that comes with it. Basically, it means every scanner will output to a file type that can be used by every 3D printer. It’s a great concept for mixing and matching hardware, but it also means a doctor has to be absolutely sure of their purchasing decisions.

There are many snags that can pop up that you don’t think about until you use a piece of hardware. As my grandfather used to say, “Son, experience is what you get 5 minutes after you needed it in the first place.”

Enter Whip Mix with their VeriONE line of digital workflow products. Combined they present a turnkey 3D concept I truly love. The company offers the full range of 3Shape TRIOS intraoral scanners, VeriEKO 3D printer, VeriLUX 3D model-curing station, and the VeriWHIRL 3D model-washing/processing station, which can all be purchased together.

3D in dentistry is moving past the early adopter phase. Doctors do not want to spend valuable time figuring out technology. They want to buy it and use it. That is what Whip Mix delivers.

The company allows the doctor to purchase with confidence. Whip Mix has looked at its product line from every angle. Not only does the doctor get state-of-the-art hardware but also state-of-the-art software as well. As an authorized dealer for 3Shape, Whip Mix gives the doctor access to this incredible design platform. But it goes 1 step further than that. If the office sees the benefits of 3D printing but doesn’t want to do their own design?, 3Shape offers their own offsite design services that create necessary files and email them to be printed with office hardware. Problem solved!

The mind trust at Whip Mix analyzed the industry, saw the changes coming, and looked at the solutions for how offices could integrate these amazing technologies. They then took it 1 step further and said, “Where are the potential problems?” They identified those problems and built solutions into their turnkey system.

An established company could have easily pointed out the risks of change and encouraged doctors to stay with the status quo. That is what many companies do. Instead, Whip Mix saw the future, saw the benefits, and embraced them. They went the extra step to make their customers’ experience less stressful.

I am impressed with Whip Mix and the system they designed for predictable digital dentistry. Doctors can now buy digital solutions from a company with more than 100 years of experience. Whip Mix began as a company of 4 brothers who worked together and saw the future. Today the company still maintains a culture of seeing and embracing the future.

If you want to reap the benefits of digital workflows, bring Whip Mix into your practice. They have done the hard work for you, and this means you can enjoy digital workflows while knowing you have a partner who has done everything to ensure your success. My time and experience working with their products has made me a strong believer in Whip Mix. I am confident you can benefit from their efforts as much as I have.

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