"CAD/CAM is a great tool for introducing efficiency and improving labor environment"

Dental Support provides “One-stop service of dental, medical and nursing care support” represented by their home-visiting dental support.

The interview took place at their dental laboratory “Dental Studio” in Chiba city, with Mr. Shuto, director of dental lab, and Mr. Inazawa, head of Studio. The latest DWX-50 installed counted the memorial 3,000 unit of the total DWX series shipped.

“Integration of Medical ethics and Corporate ethics”

Please tell us about your mission statement and home-visiting dental support.

Our corporate mission statement is “Integration of Medical ethics and Corporate ethics.” In order to provide an one-stop service of dental, medical and nursing care, it is absolutely essential that both “healthcare organizations” that provide medical care, and “corporations” that provide the support and nursing care, work as a team. The founder of the business (currently CEO of DS Health Care group) is a dentist, and our company originates from a healthcare organization. Our business started 18 years ago, when the founder realized the necessity and needs of home-visiting dental support and tried to provide it to as many people as possible, after seeing how much his home-visiting support was appreciated from the patients and their families.

“We provide home-visiting dental support in a three person team of a dentist, a hygienist from affiliate dental offices, and a coordinator from our company, visiting homes or hospitals for patients that cannot come to dental clinics. Our Dental Studio enables us to cooperate with the dentists and  quickly create dental prosthetics optimized for elderly patients we see during our home-visiting.”

What is the story behind introducing CAD/CAM to your business?

We needed to digitize manual lab work. We had introduced CAD/CAM systems early in the trend, and some scanner manufacturers offered us to become a design center, however the closed-system concept made us uncomfortable and we were seeking options to build a open-system based work environment.”

“We installed a Dental Wings scanner, which supports the open-system concept, using the subsidy program provided by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. We worked closely with Data Design, distributor of the scanners, to investigate the best combinations of milling machines and 3D printers. After deep consideration, we determined that the DWX-50 would be the best choice and installed our first unit in 2014. Our research in digital tools for dental lab work never stops. Our recent interest is in new trending non-metal material and intra oral scanners – we plan to present our achievements at the upcoming lab conference.”

Please tell us about the deciding factors of the CAD/CAM system.

“The most outstanding factor is the flexibility of the open-system concept. Dental prosthetics produced with a closed system tended to reflect the high investment costs. Being able to choose different software and material enabled us to provide these prosthetics in a lower price range. This is definitely one big benefit of the open CAD/CAM systems.”

 “CAD/CAM is a great tool for introducing efficiency and improving labor environment”

What kind of changes have you seen after the installation of the system?

“Most prominently, we now can produce in-house. A lot of the work we used to outsource by sending wax ups and models, now can be produced in our lab – this has benefited us both in delivery time and cost.”

「”We think that CAD/CAM systems are a tool that can improve labor environment. Saving time and cost made a 8-hour labor realistic. Late nights in the lab have become a thing of the past, and we still have enough profit. We believe that it is more than important to improve the labor environment for denta technicians. Although the work itself is very interesting, the poor labor environment is deteriorating the entire dental technician industry. We hope that improving the labor environment will attract more young dental technicians, resulting in a healthier industry.”

Please tell us about your future ideas for your business.

“We want to make sure that we grow our business in a way all stakeholders are satisficed – not only our patients or partner dentists but also our employees too. As a result, we believe that our growth as a group will contribute to the Japanese dental industry as a whole. We think the key for globalization of dentistry lies in dental laboratories. Our subsidiary in Myanmar will start providing dental lab services staring in January 2016. Digitization is a fundamental part of making it possible to provide Japan-made dental prosthetics to the world. We want to expand our business in a way no one else has done in the past.”

(Interviewed May, 2015)

Dental Support Website: www.dentalsupport.co.jp

Dental Studio Website: www.dentalstudio.jp