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Inside Dental Technology
December 2014
Volume 5, Issue 12

Sirona Introduces inLab MC X5 Wet/Dry 5-Axis Milling and Grinding Unit

Digital innovation continues to march rapidly forward in the dental and dental technology industries. Leading the parade of technological advances and progress is Sirona Dental. From the introduction of the first electrically-powered dental drill in 1887 to the first commercially manufactured intraoral X-ray unit in 1955 to the launch of the CEREC dental CAD/CAM system in 1987 and the CEREC inLab in 2001 then the inLab MC XL in 2007, the company is based in Long Island City, NY, with German roots and remains firm in its mission to be the global leader and driving force behind technological developments in the dental industry.

Fast-forward to October 2014, a month and year that marked another milestone for Sirona with the introduction of the inLab MC X5 wet/dry 5-axis milling and grinding unit. The inLab MC X5 is the culmination of Sirona research, development and engineering determined to provide dental laboratory professionals with the technology they need to stay ahead of the evolving indirect materials market.

“With the introduction of the inLab MC X5, we want to convey to the dental technology (laboratory) industry that we claim our position as market leader in CAD/CAM technology,” says Norbert Ulmer, Director of Laboratory CAD/CAM. “This truly unique 5-axis milling system encompasses the entire range of materials available from various material manufacturers.”

From single- and multi-unit blocks to standard 98.5 mm milling discs, the unit’s material milling capability stretches from wet-milling glass ceramics, (e.g. IPS e.max) to dry-milling zirconia, PMMA and wax. What makes this system truly innovative is its ability to switch seamlessly between wet and dry milling and grinding operations without interruption. “The inLab MC X5 combines wet and dry processing in one operation,” says Ulmer. “This means that when dry milling a PMMA provisional, for example, you can seamlessly switch to a wet milling finishing operation after dry milling the provisional to give the restoration an almost polished-like surface. This helps reduce the labor involved in delivering the final product.”

Its dual-functionality and ability to combine and continuously change between dry and wet milling functions without a cleanup time delay offers laboratory professionals complete diversity in milling material options and in manufacturing a more finished restoration directly out of the mill. From single unit glass ceramics or zirconia full contour crowns and full-arch structures to copings, custom implant abutments, wax copings and provisionals, the inLab MC X5 fulfills Sirona’s goal to meet the full range of production needs in the laboratory.

At the International Dental Show (IDS) in March 2015, the capability to mill implant overstructures will also be added to the already robust capabilities of this milling unit.

However, Ulmer explains the inLab MC X5 is not a replacement for Sirona’s market-leading inLab MC XL milling unit but rather viewed as an adjunct to provide laboratories with the ability to deliver anything from same-day restorations to more complex and higher-priced implant solutions. “The inLab MC XL milling unit is the fastest on the market,” says Ulmer. “Its ability to mill out an IPS e.max CAD crown in 8 to 15 minutes is unmatched and offers the ability, along with digital impression and Sirona Connect technology, to deliver same-day dentistry from the laboratory,” explains Ulmer. “That same crown milled on the inLab MC X5 would take approximately 40 minutes to mill, a timeframe comparable to other glass ceramic grinding units on the market.”

Another groundbreaking feature of the inLab MC X5 is its ability to import .STL design files. A new CAM module allows laboratories using other open architecture design software, such as 3Shape to import CAD design files in .STL format for processing with inLab MC X5.

For current users of the inLab MC XL milling unit, incorporating the inLab MC X5 will not require any formal training to get the unit up and into production. During installation, according to Ulmer, the technical advisor will walk the user through the new CAD software module and demonstrate how to load the integrated tool changer. For new Sirona customers, the company offers an extensive two-day training program at any one of their five training facilities located in Florida, North Carolina, northern and southern California, and Indiana. In addition, new users will receive follow up training by a current Sirona inLab owner who will come to the laboratory’s location to help the owner and managers make a smooth and successful integration of the milling unit into their production processes.

“By offering the widest range of integrated technology solutions for the practice and the dental laboratory, Sirona is providing Sirona inLab laboratories with the tools needed to successfully differentiate themselves in this highly competitive digital restorative marketplace,” concludes Ulmer.

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