Going digital in dentistry is now more important than ever. CAD/CAM pioneer Amann Girrbach has a long history of developing workflow solutions for dental clinics and laboratories. “We’re experts on both sides,” said CEO Dr Wolfgang Reim, who spoke in this interview about the company’s new modular Ceramill Direct Restoration Solution (DRS) and the communication and case management platform AG.Live.
Dr Reim, what is new regarding Amann Girrbach’s approach to the overall digital workflow?
The traditional approach to chairside workflows cuts off the competence of the laboratory from that of the dental technician. This is what we want to avoid. We have learned a great deal about the challenges at the interdisciplinary interface and have focused on the development of Ceramill DRS in order to offer added value to all stakeholders. With our new software platform AG.Live, in combination with the modular DRS, we have combined clinical and laboratory workflows, thus closing the gap between the dental practice and the laboratory. As a result of this process, professionals have more choices and instant modes of communication, and both sides can contribute their core competencies in order to provide patients with the best possible restorations. This is what we call “shareside”—Amann Girrbach’s specific concept of chairside.
There are two core elements to the new and fully integrated workflow. Firstly, can you tell us more about the Ceramill DRS?
Ceramill DRS offers dentists and laboratories fully integrated and validated workflows with consistent highest-quality restorations and full flexibility. Depending on the type of collaboration desired, three team workflows are available in combination with the corresponding Ceramill DRS modules.
The Ceramill DRS Connection Kit integrates digital impressions taken by the dentist into the digital laboratory workflow. It consists of a high-performance intra-oral scanner, the Ceramill Map DRS, and scan software. It includes a connection to AG.Live, through which all case data is shared seamlessly and in real time with the laboratory of choice, and further communication directly linked to the case can be done online or offline. This eliminates the need for handwritten job sheets and phone calls and enables same day dentistry for certain restorations with a fast laboratory process.
Users can upgrade to the Ceramill Motion DRS production module, and restorations can be designed either on-site or with the support of the laboratory via AG.Live. In combination with the Ceramill Therm DRS speed sintering furnace, a full chairside workflow for a crown in less than 1 hour is possible in validated consistency and at the highest quality level.
The second core element is AG.Live. How does this platform connect and enable dentists and technicians?
AG.Live offers an infrastructure and patient case management that provides consistency and efficiency and raises the flow of information to entirely new levels.
It networks laboratories and clinicians both online and offline for a particular case, displaying, for example, its process status. For the production process in the laboratory, machine and material availabilities are visible and overall task management of the dental fabrication process is made transparent.
Thus, AG.Live allows dental professionals to keep track of all activities digitally—from anywhere and at any time. Furthermore, participants can work and collaborate more efficiently through this network and better focus on their strengths and core competencies.
What are the real and tangible benefits of this fascinating solution for dentists and their patients?
There are three main benefits: firstly, the validated 100% consistency at the highest quality level, independent of the chosen workflow; secondly, the support of unique relationships between the dental practice and laboratory focusing on the best possible treatment of their patients; thirdly, the many options for the patient from this one scalable and validated system—from a single-visit crown to a full-mouth restoration.
Additionally, the flexibility and speed on offer may lead to a better experience for the patient and ultimately attract new patients and more orders for the laboratory.
Impressions from the Amann Girrbach booth at IDS
Editorial note: This interview was published in today at IDS on 22 September 2021.