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Inside Dental Technology
October 2015
Volume 6, Issue 10

Correct System Is Key to Digital Integration

Products designed by a dental technician offer best results

By Stéphan Provencher

Over the past 30 years, our profession has evolved in two directions: equipment/material-related improvements and the implementation of digital technology. CAD/CAM elements have become part of our daily production and workflow. An industry that had been driven completely by handcraftsmanship became a subtle mix of biomaterial science knowledge and computer-aided design capabilities—without losing the artistic element of creating beautiful dental work.

Dental technology should focus on providing the best care for the patient, regardless of the tools used to achieve that optimal case outcome. Today that means utilizing the best technologies on the market, the ones that can provide precision and accuracy, and recreate function and esthetics using the most bio-integratable materials. Seeking the best tools and techniques to provide the perfect prosthetic outcome is a constant process. Therefore, being ready for full integration of digital dentistry is the prerequisite of the modern dental technician.

Correlation of all digital information is the challenge. Nobody is perfect, and no one is capable of outperforming competitors in all fields of expertise. Some manufacturers excel in the production of intraoral scanners or medical imaging technology, others are best in developing software for prosthetic design, and still others in the manufacture of model scanners, milling units, sintering furnaces, 3D printing machines, etc. Dental technicians cannot and should not need to pursue a career as an electrical and mechanical engineer, nor should they be computer experts capable of creating software for their milling machines. Therefore, finding the right parts of a comprehensive system by matching them appropriately to get to an easy workflow for digitalized production is the main focus.

My recommendation to any friends and colleagues looking for their system of choice in dental CAD/CAM technology would be to decide first what kind of production they prefer. Do they want full in-house production or do they feel they can share and trust another party for outsourcing to some extent?

I would be inclined to recommend a fully integrated system that can work completely in-house and if outsourcing is needed, a system that offers an open-architecture platform for ease of digital file transfer from any scanner or milling machine. At this point, the Zirkonzahn system is my first choice. It is particularly strong for educational and technical support because frequently equipment comes with a very short user manual, but Zirkonzahn offers a huge educational proposition for any level of desired education, from beginners to top dental technicians. Rarely do we see such an emphasis on education.

Dental technicians have a mind of their own, and with Zirkonzahn, a dental technician, Enrico Steger, has been involved in the development of the entire system from the start. The software has been designed for dental technicians’ needs; the scanners are built with articulators in mind; and every software application is developed to implement a higher quality prosthetic. The system was developed to help technicians move from the tradition of handcraftsmanship to the virtual world without losing focus on medically acceptable prosthetic design. As they say, the proof is in the pudding … and Zirkonzahn’s results are simply amazing, from accurate scanning to beautiful design to simply great milling.

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions contained in the preceding material are not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.

Key Takeaways

› Fully integrated system that can work completely in-house or with a degree of outsourcing.
› Products come with education and technical support for any level of skill, from beginner to expert technician.
› A dental technician, Enrico Steger, was involved in the development of the entire system.

Manufacturer Contact Information


Stéphan Provencher
Collège Édouard-Montpetit
Longueuil, Quebec, Canada

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