Laser Sintering Shines, Enlightens at LAB DAY Chicago 2012

There’s a new Industrial Revolution sweeping through dentistry, and the results speak for themselves at LAB DAY 2012 Chicago. Laser-sintered crowns, bridges, and copings—now produced in the millions—are increasingly replacing those made with traditional casting and machining. EOS, world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering equipment, will display these innovative products and conduct two accredited clinics at the event (held at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers February 24-25).

“Anyone can see that digital tools are proliferating in dentistry and being used in place of physical impressions and casting,” says Martin Bullemer, EOS manager for medical business development. “Our systems take full advantage of the individual patient geometries those digital tools capture and offer consistently high end-quality products and benefits in costs and turn-around times.”

Bill Oremus, vice president of BEGO USA (Lincoln, R.I.), agrees. “The industry’s shift to scanned digital imaging and manufacturing has made laser sintering a must-have technology for us,” he says. “As the technology advances it will be the direction of the future for making dental implant components because it eliminates production steps and cuts material waste.”

Laser sintering is an additive manufacturing process that “grows” near-net shapes, doing away with costly and time-consuming tasks such as waxing, investing, divesting, cutting, and grinding. This makes it economical for creating mass-customized crowns and bridges as well as plastic dental models or titanium dental implants. There are currently more than 40 plastic and metal laser-sintering systems worldwide dedicated to dental devices. Direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS) equipment, running unattended, can produce about 450 crown and bridge units in 24 hours, currently some 2.5 million per year.

BEGO USA uses DMLS to create individual cobalt-chrome copings, crowns, pontics and bridges—including 14-unit bridges with a precision that would be difficult to match by traditional methods.

For those who wish to learn more about how this technology benefits the dental industry, this year’s clinics by EOS are titled, “Producing Bridges, Copings, Partials, Implants and Models from CAD Data via Laser Sintering.” Thomas Thiel, an EOS engineer in dental applications and a Master Dental Technologist, will show attendees why DMLS is an efficient alternative to traditional casting processes for copings, bridges, and implants. He will also highlight the use of laser-sintered plastic models for quality checks, analysis, and post-processing restorations. Participants will receive 1.5 Scientific Certified Dental Technician Credits. The clinics will be held in Parlor F (Lobby Level) on Saturday, February 25 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., and again from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

EOS will also be demonstrating its newest polyamide, PA 2105, for physically modeling dentition. The material offers high precision for best prosthesis fit. Its color contrast facilitates the veneering of dental prostheses, and the models require minimal manual processes or finishing procedures.

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes.

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