At the International Dental Show (IDS)/Cologne, EOS highlights advanced dental e-Manufacturing solutions for dental models

At their booth in hall 4.1, booth F48, EOS, the leading supplier of laser-sintering systems, will be showcasing advanced e-Manufacturing solutions for dental models at this year’s International Dental Show (IDS) show taking place in Cologne/Germany March 22 till 26, 2011.

Dental models for the appropriate restoration of dental prostheses and for checking the occlusion have long been manufactured through time-consuming production and preparation of cast dental impressions. Currently, though, dental technology is undergoing a radical shift as well as a process of industrialization and automation for the manufacture of dental models.

Rise of new dental CAD/CAM applications enable digital manufacturing of dental models

The further development of dental CAD/CAM applications with new impression and intraoral scanners will make it possible to send high-quality data directly to the processing centre. The only thing missing would be a dental model for occlusion testing and post-processing, or a fixation device for use during veneering. Such a model can be laser-sintered on a FORMIGA P 100 from PA 2105, a top-quality plastic, on the basis of already available data. Consequently, laser-sintering provides a complete solution for the manufacture of dental prostheses.

It is already quite common for the patient’s oral situation to be assessed digitally by means of intraoral scanners or by means of model scanning. This affects important subsequent processing and production steps such as the production of dental restorations as well as dental models. This digital three dimensional data can be processed directly and without a moulding-induced loss in precision by means of metal laser-sintering, for example in order to produce dental crowns and bridges. A second set of data contains the digital description of the dental model, ready for polymer laser-sintering. Both of these forms of individualized series production are based on e-manufacturing via laser-sintering. Martin Bullemer, Business Development Manager Medical at EOS adds: “Laser-sintered dental models offer a whole range of advantages when compared to conventionally manufactured ones. The digital e-Manufacturing process ensures a high model precision for the precision of the prosthesis fit.”

Technological centrepiece of plastic dental e-Manufacturing: FORMIGA P 100

Polymer laser-sintering is an additive layer manufacturing method. To enable its use for manufacturing dental models, the three dimensional data is sliced into layers. Using these as a model, the system produces the model in layers by fusing plastic powder using a laser. The technological centrepiece of dental e-Manufacturing is the FORMIGA P 100 – the leading plastic laser-sintering system in the compact class. With an overall building volume of 200 mm x 250 mm x 330 mm the system can produce, for example in three stacked layers up to fifty single dental models within ten hours. Its economical and flexible design permits the system to be ideally integrated into dental lab workflows for a comparatively low investment cost. Operating this laser-sintering system requires personnel only for loading and unpacking the machine. As such, it is a very reliable process which at the same time helps to conserve resources through the reuse of powder not fused.

The laser-sintered dental model requires no manual finishing because no support structures are needed. At the same time it is a highly cost-efficient and time saving process due to the production of a hollow model and multilayer building. The FORMIGA P 100 produces a plastic model that is used both for checking prostheses quality, for veneering and production of dental prosthesis. Moreover, it is possible to generate models for analysis.

PA 2105: Coloured plastic material for series production

PA 2105 is a pigmented polyamide-12 powder for the manufacturing of laser-sintered dental models that are based on the colour of the plastics used in conventional manufacturing. The usual colour contrast with the dental prosthesis eases the veneering of the dental prostheses. At the same time, the high mechanical strength and thermal stability enable optimal fit control and veneering of the dental prostheses. The laser-sintered model can ensure abrasion resistance despite frequent prosthesis insertion and removal.

Bullemer concludes: “Thanks to this efficient production method – the dental model is ideally produced in parallel with the associated crown or bridge – the complete manufacturing process is shortened by an average of one working day.”

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