Digitization, compared to the analog system, allows us to offer better products and services.
Digitization as a natural evolution
For a treatment to be successful, there must be very clear communication between the clinic and the laboratory. The dictionary defines communication as “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behaviors.” For good communication it is necessary to have good information, that is, quality data. This quality data can only be obtained through digitization (electronic prescription, impression taking with intraoral scanner, DICOM files, photographs, videos, simulations, etc.)
The underlying challenge for the dentist is to clearly determine the parameters contained in the prescription so that the details and expectations of each case and each patient can be successfully communicated later. The challenge for the laboratory team is to understand exactly what the dentist is asking for and provide a great product by applying the information available. When this communication is optimized through digitization, information becomes much more transparent, accessible, clear and collaborative for both parties. Communication with such data quality can only be achieved digitally and will condition the evolution after treatment.
With the right information (in digital format), computer aided design (C.A.D.) software can be used to create the product virtually. In fact, today it cannot be done otherwise. In medical engineering, batch sizes are usually quite small compared to other industrial sectors. In the dental laboratory, specifically, there is always talk of personalization for each patient, which means that the size of the batches is 1.
Therefore, to guarantee (repeatedly) the quality of the product requires a computer system with a robust design. Thanks to C.A.D. All the digital information that reaches the clinic can measure, evaluate, propose and finally design the product in a safe way, benefiting the health and well-being of the patient. For example, a 0.03mm variation in dimensions can make the difference between correct and incorrect fit of the mouth splint, which would directly affect patient comfort. This level of precision in all respects can only be achieved by computer-aided design.
Once you have this digital design you have to move on to the physical product. That’s where computer-aided manufacturing software helps us by transferring the digital design to a machine that accurately reproduces it. This precision and repeatability can only be achieved with machines. The important thing here is knowing how to combine the different technologies such as additive manufacturing, subtractive manufacturing and materials science.
We must not forget that we are talking about medical products and services, so it is vital to maintain absolute control and access to the entire process, from impression taking, design and manufacturing, to adaptation and monitoring.
When we talk about a personalized product, as we have mentioned before, the batch is 1, which means that we must have a complete traceability of each of the products and that is only possible digitally.
5. Continual improvement.
Taking into account all the previous points, and having all the data digitized, we can establish a system of continuous improvement that involves both good communication between the clinic and the laboratory, as well as the establishment of metrics in design and manufacturing to optimize results.
Conclusion on digitization
To conclude, creating better products and services will be achieved through collaborative effort and working on a digital process platform. And they will not be better because they are “digital”, but because they offer a series of benefits such as patient comfort, ease of use for the dentist, exact follow-up of the medical prescription, in short, a better experience for all the actors of the value chain.
Medicalfit is part of the Dentalesthetic dental laboratories. If you want to receive more information about our products, contact us and we will advise you about our products and how they can improve your productivity in the dental clinic. ☎️ +34 953 792 983