Friday, March 12, 2010

Straumann launches digital solutions platform connecting dental professionals across disciplines

At the Chicago Midwinter Meeting Straumann, one of the big players in the world of dental implants, launched their Digital Solutions Platform.

Chicago/Basel, 25 February 2010: At the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, one of America’s largest dental exhibitions, Straumann is presenting an array of integrated computer-based technologies that have been designed to increase confidence, safety, precision and reliability in implant and restorative dentistry.

Under the new umbrella brand of ‘Straumann Digital Solutions’, the company now offers state-of-the-art computer-guided surgery, intra-oral scanning, and CADCAM prosthetics to specialists, general dentists and dental laboratories in various markets around the world. Straumann is the only leading manufacturer in implant, restorative and regenerative dentistry to offer all these services. The company will also present a number of new products and features that will be launched over the course of the year.

With these new innovations in intra-oral scanning, CADCAM and computer guided surgery, a complete Straumann tooth – from implant to final crown – is now available from a single provider. Straumann’s integrated state-of-the-art digital solutions now support implant placement, restoration and esthetic performance.

Gilbert Achermann, President and CEO, commented: “Digitalization will impact all aspects of dentistry as digital workflows supersede labor-intensive manual processes, enhancing interfaces, shortening treatment, reducing potential for error and improving quality assurance. These benefits are expected to translate into lower treatment costs, added convenience and improved comfort for patients. Straumann is committed to bringing the new technologies to customers as part of an integrated array of flexible, reliable solutions that are designed to optimize workflows and enhance patient care”.

A major drawback facing dental professionals wishing to invest in digital applications is that equipment, such as scanners, surgical guides etc., has to be sourced from a variety of manufacturers without standardization, or is part of a closed system offered exclusively by a single provider. Customers therefore face being ‘locked in’ or having flexibility without full assurance of connectivity, quality and comprehensive support services.

Straumann Digital Solutions offer the flexibility of open, state-of-the-art systems together with seamless connectivity to one of the world’s leading implant, restoration and regenerative systems, in addition to guaranteed Straumann quality, service and network support.

The company’s expanding portfolio of digital solutions includes three competencies: computer-guided surgery, intra-oral scanning, and CADCAM prosthetics.

Computer guided surgery

The combined use of 3D imaging digital design software to plan and execute precise implant placement is an emerging trend. Using a computed tomographic image of the patient’s jaw, the dental surgeon plans the position, angulation and depth of the implant on a computer using sophisticated planning software. The data are then used to produce a plastic surgical template that fits onto the patient’s teeth or gum. The template incorporates sleeves that guide drills, taps and profilers, designed for optimal implant placement. Computer-guided surgery is designed to offer the dentist a clear view of the bone condition, the position of nerve and vascular structures, and the final implant location. It simplifies the planning and execution of complex procedures, which can reduce the risk of surgical and prosthetic complications.

Straumann entered this exciting field in 2009 through the acquisition of the dental business of IVS Solutions AG, a German company specializing in software applications for computer-guided surgery, including surgical template design and fabrication. Straumann is rolling out the technology internationally, announcing in Chicago that it will be available in North America in the course of this year.

In addition to the benefits of user-friendliness and predictability, Straumann’s guided surgery system offers ‘open-system’ flexibility as the templates can be produced quickly and efficiently in local laboratories rather than exclusively by a central supplier. Furthermore, Straumann’s comprehensive instrument kit can be used with any Cone Beam CT scanner and can be used with other implant libraries.

Powerful intra-oral scanning

Straumann also announced that its CADCAM service is now connected to Cadent’s iTero intra-oral scanning system. Intra-oral scanning enables the dentist to create a 3D image of the patient’s teeth using a digital scanner inside the mouth. Replacing the slower conventional process of impression-taking in the dental practice and model casting in the laboratory, digital intra-oral scanning is designed to deliver considerable time and cost savings – as well as high precision – for both the lab and the dental practice

In addition to the data sharing-agreement that connects the two companies’ systems, Straumann has exclusive distribution rights for CADENT’s iTero scanning system in Europe and offers European dentists leading intra-oral scanning technology as part of its integrated range of solutions. The iTero scanner is designed to be easy to use and convenient because it eliminates pre-scan coating of teeth. Having open architecture, it can be used with multiple dental systems and thus offers customers flexibility and independence.

Advanced CADCAM technology

Modern dental prosthetic inlays, onlays, crowns, and bridges are designed by computer (CAD) and milled on computerized machines (CAM). This procedure is considerably more efficient than traditional processes and can be highly profitable for dental laboratories. Central milling of CAM prosthetics on industrial machines offers a high level of precision and reliability.

The company is unveiling its new advanced CADCAM system at Chicago Lab Day, which includes a new scanner that is currently in development and is scheduled to launch later this year. Speed, precision, convenience and flexibility are the hallmarks of the new system, that will be capable of scanning solid master, section-cut and antagonist models. One small practical feature is an integrated web-camera to facilitate a new level online service support.

Straumann provides a comprehensive CADCAM product portfolio including scanners, software and a full range of prosthetics in modern biocompatible, durable and esthetic materials, including polymer, metals and ceramics. Through its partnership with Ivoclar Vivadent, Straumann also offers high-performance glass ceramics for high-end esthetic restorations that are designed to be indistinguishable from natural teeth.

Software upgrades

Because design software is a key component in CADCAM, Straumann regularly releases upgrades to its installed scanner base. The latest ‘5.0 IO’ upgrade includes the iTero intra-oral scanning connectivity as well as a number of new features that improve workflows and functionality.

Veneers and other additions

Apart from the new scanning capabilities, software and materials, Straumann will launch a number of additional CADCAM features this year, including veneers, inlays and onlays.

This means that a complete Straumann tooth – from implant to final crown – is available from a single provider in conjunction with an integrated state-of-the-art digital system of solutions to support implant placement, restoration and lasting esthetic performance.


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