Interview: “anaxdent is at the forefront of the 3-D printing revolution”
Ahead of IDS 2019, Dental Tribune International met with Andreas Kopietz, CEO of German dental materials specialist anaxdent. In this interview, Kopietz, who founded anaxdent in 1999, shares his opinion on the implications of 3-D printing technologies for dental laboratories and explains why his company is best positioned to guide customers in this development.
Mr Kopietz, one of the focus areas of IDS 2019 will be 3-D printing, which is considered a game-changer in dentistry, according to the event organisers. What are your expectations for the show in this regard?
Yes, it will be a game-changer and we are prepared. We share knowledge and information with our customers on all aspects of 3-D printing and enable them to transition their businesses from an analogue to a digital workflow where it makes sense. That will result in more consistent delivery of high-end dental appliances to the benefit of patients. It will also improve the profitability of their laboratories, which in turn enables sustainable dentistry in the long term.
I want customers to leave in the knowledge that anaxdent is at the forefront of the 3-D printing revolution and they can rely on us, as always, to provide the best solutions and products for their laboratories.
Your company has recently signed a distribution agreement with the Silicon Valley-based digital 3-D manufacturing company Carbon. Could you please briefly comment on this?
Before we signed with Carbon, I travelled globally over the last three years to research and understand the best available 3-D printing options for our customers on which to base this decision. I see anaxdent and Carbon fitting with our ethos of best practices, best products—like our pink composite anaxgum that sits well in the workflow for the production of printed dentures. We believe that together we are offering anaxdent customers a 3-D printing solution using Carbon technology that is unrivalled.
In dentistry, new additive manufacturing technologies seem to be taking over from conventional milling technologies. What are the main differences between the two with regard to quality, price and application in dentistry, and are both still needed?
I believe there is a place for both technologies in the market, as no single technology has the capability of delivering custom-made medical devices across all dental indications. I foresee a hybrid approach in the future, in which laboratories will adopt new technologies to the benefit of workflow, consistency and improved patient care, while maintaining the critical knowledge and experience of dental technicians in delivering a unique, custom-made aesthetic medical device. Even if you have the best equipment, you need the skills of analogue techniques and the experience of a well-educated dental technician to make it happen.
One of the major topics in 3-D printing is printable material. How is anaxdent approaching this issue?
We are working with our key partners in the development of flowable printable materials that will cover a number of indications, and anaxdent is best positioned to deliver these solutions to the market as soon as they become available. Come and see us at our booth at IDS, where we will be demonstrating the first steps in our concept.