Thanks to innovations in CAD/CAM technology, the dental landscape is undergoing a radical transformation. It’s an evolution powered by digital progress. It effectively streamlines everyday operations and supercharges the efficiency of producing dental implants, including crowns and full arch restorations.
This digitization of the industry has also allowed for the expansion of the dentistry ecosystem. Today dental practices work hand in hand with other businesses. This includes dental labs, milling and printing centers, and design services to support their digital workflow.
Outsourcing in the CAD/CAM pipeline is incredibly valuable for dental labs. This allows them to produce accurate and high-quality dental restorations with the help of digital technology.
In this episode of the Lab-to-Lab Education Series, we were joined by Alexander Wünsche, president and co-owner of Zahntechnique. With decades of experience in both the industry and in digital dentistry, Alexander was able to share valuable insights and best practices to help audiences build their own CAD/CAM dream team.
Early Adopters of Digital Dentistry
Zahntechnique was established over 47 years ago, and since then they have been constantly innovating. When Alexander Wünsche joined the dental lab in 2009, it was already receiving and processing a high number of digital cases.
As early as then, the advantages of the digital workflow, such as increased efficiency and accuracy, were apparent to Alexander. With digital technology, errors can be easily detected and corrected, ensuring a higher level of precision in the production process.
Throughout this process, Alexander emphasized the importance of verification checks at each stage to ensure accuracy and avoid human errors. He believes that a solid CAD/CAM team begins with having solid talent. This and an environment that empowers that talent to work effectively.
Today, Zahntechnique is the longest-running dental laboratory in the area. They have been able to remain relevant with the help of some best practices that Alexander shared in the webinar.
The Benefits of Cross-Training in Digital Dental Workflows
Alexander acknowledged that today, it has become a challenge to find experienced technicians in the industry. To overcome this challenge, Zahntechnique follows a rigorous interview process to hire technicians with technical proficiency and adaptability.
This adaptability has become an important quality to seek when considering new talent. Cross-training is a valuable strategy in allowing a lab to run smoothly. Zahntechnique employs a combination of dedicated CAD/CAM technicians and cross-trained technicians.
Team members who can assist in multiple processes reduces dependency on specific individuals and allows for smoother operations at any time. Dedicated CAD/CAM technicians handle scanning, designing, printing, and milling, while cross-trained technicians assist in various departments and can jump in to support scanning when needed.
By having technicians skilled in multiple aspects of CAD/CAM, the laboratory can easily adapt and optimize productivity.
Teamwork in the Modern Dental Industry
This culture of cross-training is directly related to the spirit of collaboration. This is another core aspect to prioritize in the lab. Effective collaboration comes from effective communication. Having a team that collaborates well together can contribute not only to the lab’s productivity but also to staff’s individual growth.
This collaboration strengthens not only the lab internally, but also relationships with external partners such as internal scan companies. Alexander collaborates closely with these internal scan companies, trainers, and representatives to ensure optimal dental scanning results.
Additionally, he offers personal assistance to clients, addressing their challenges and providing guidance. Alexander even offers video meetings with clients and their technicians, facilitating effective communication and problem-solving.
Fostering strong relationships with both internal and external stakeholders, Zahntechnique ensures that its clients receive the best support and guidance. Being able to do this effectively is especially helpful when the demand for production peaks.
Managing bottlenecks is a crucial aspect that determines a lab’s productivity. This is because success of dental labs relies so heavily on their ability to mitigate their output.
Zahntechnique’s strategy of retaining versatile staff is greatly helpful in allocating manpower. But it is a strategy that should go hand in hand with an effective workflow.
Alexander and his team use a calendar system that provides visibility into case turnaround times. This allows them to assess what cases need to be prioritized based on the agreed-upon deadlines. During particularly busy times, another tactic is to prioritize cases based on their complexity.
This ensures that more straightforward cases are completed quickly, freeing up resources for more intricate restorations.
By working closely with partners outside of the lab like shipping partners, Zahntechnique also strives to reduce potential delays and ensure cases are delivered on time. Communication with clients regarding expected turnaround times and maintaining realistic expectations plays a significant role in managing the digital workflow efficiently.
The CAD/CAM Dream Team
Ultimately, the rise of digital technologies in the dental industry has empowered labs to become more productive, more efficient, and better able to provide patients with top tier dental treatments.
However complex the case is, an effective combination of human expertise and dental technology will be able to address it. On the operational side, workflows for labs have become much more streamlined with the help of digital processes.
As proven by Alexander and Zahntechnique, years of expertise combined with cutting-edge dental technology places you a cut above the rest of the competition. With the help of strategic collaboration and continued learning, your practice will be able to gain, sustain, and scale success.
This of course comes hand in hand with having effective partners who are well versed in the landscape of digital dentistry. As an experienced and committed proponent of innovations in the dental industry, Evident Digital has been a reliable partner in empowering labs to thrive in their digital transformation journey.
With dedicated support in areas such as digital design and secure patient data storage, Evident’s extensive roster of services aims to provide bespoke solutions for your businesses’ unique needs. Discover how you can empower your efficiency and productivity and learn more about Evident Digital today.