“It is important that you change. Don’t only depend on the devices.”
Esthetique Art Design has been providing dental technical service in the suburbs of Asahikawa city for over twenty tears. The owner Mr. Kimura was always good with his hands and became a dental technician going to night school after work. We have asked some questions about the background of adopting the CAD/CAM system and its merits.
What was the decisive factor of adopting the CAD/CAM system?
“I was shocked when I first saw the CAD/CAM studies at university about 10 years ago. I was confident that the digital era will arrive even in the dental technical world, and started to learn to use the computer. Ever since, I had been collecting information on journals and tradeshows but the prices were not something any dental labs could pay. However this situation has completely changed within these few years, especially after the open systems have expanded the range of choice. We started seriously considering the installation around 2013. It had to be an open system since I would like to use the system inside out. As for the milling machine, I chose the DWX-50 for its reasonable price for its capabilities and the fact that we could get good maintenance support.”
It has been a year and half after installation; what were the challenges?
“It took me 1 month each to understand the software and to get familiar with the handling and be able to design as I intended to. I did many experiments and tests. I would do difficult cases such as 10-teeth bridges. In many cases I was not happy with the quality when using the distributor’s default templates. So I would make my own templates by examining them one after another. The results will change by the material and the burrs too. It was all for finding the optimal conditions. I guess I just like this kind of work, I found myself working on this even during the winter holidays.”
How is the DWX-50 working?
“We used the DWX-50 for over 1,700 hours last year. As we do a lot of health-insurance-covered work, our productivity has improved significantly. We make facing crowns, normal crowns, inlays and partial frames using the CAD/CAM system. Usually the precision would be concerned when milling a long bridge; however we are able to provide optimal conditions by understanding the machine characteristics. We would like to increase the working ratio but we are satisfied with the health insurance based workload.”
What are the benefits of installing the system?
“Especially the fact that we were able to systemize the creation of partial frames, crowns and bridges have benefited us a lot, considering this was our first installation. We were able to establish a basic workflow using the DWX system, now we are looking into more advanced ways of using it. It has also contributed in recruitment. We received a call from a student in Aichi prefecture saying that he was interested in the CAD/CAM system, although we are a small local lab of four people. This had never happened before. Currently I am the only person operation the CAD/CAM system so I do would like to train my staff.”
Finally please tell us about your future visions.
“You have to shelve your traditional way of work for a while if you want to streamline your digital system. This could be very difficult especially if you are an experienced technician. In my case, I followed every step accordingly to the manufacturer’s user manual. Once I understand the characteristics of the machine and materials, I try to adjust the device to find the most productive settings. I personalize
the manual. Once you have your own manual in your head, it means that you have control.”
(Interviewed March 2015)