To scan, or not to scan, that is the question— Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to wax up, invest, cast, sandblast, seat down, trim and prepare for opaque-
The Copings and Bridges of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
By scanning, drop boxing, receiving in the post, end them? To die, to sleep—no more; and by a sleep, to say we end the heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to!
Or a case of the Technician doth protest too much, methinks?
The purchase of a 3D dental scanner is a huge outlay for any Dental Lab, equivalent to buying 3 top end porcelain furnaces in one hit. How can a small to medium Laboratory afford to take such a financial risk? This abuser of Shakespeare’s great works says how can you not?
The Lost-wax technique, investment casting or cire perdue as those crazy French Techs call it, is not new. The oldest known examples of this technique are the objects discovered in the Cave of The Treasure hoard in southern Israel, which belong to the Chalcolithic period (4500–3500 BC) i.e. 5700 years old!
As a junior technician, the fit of copings after waxing up and casting was almost a lottery, often dependent on nonexistent aircon or central heating to maintain a mean temperature in the Lab that would enable a consistent fit. Yes, newer investments are more user friendly and produce excellent fits when the manufacturer’s instructions are followed to the letter, which is just as well as I still have to (for the moment) cast FGC’s.
Thus far I have concentrated on the humble PBC coping, so here is a list of the usual’s that I scan and have milled or printed for me.
NP copings and frameworks to full arch,
Screw down crowns and Bars Zirconia copings,
full crowns and frameworks to full arch
e.max copings and full crowns
Temporary crowns and bridges to full arch
Scan and 3d print denture
base plates and working models
Nothing (as they say) is perfect, (who the heck are they btw?) but it’s pretty bloomin close. A time and motion study (there’s one for the oldsters) would at the very least make you raise an eyebrow. Often of a morning I feel inclined to dislocate my right elbow and pat myself on the back for having taken the financial plunge. Next on the list, my own milling machine, equivalent to buying a Range Rover Evoque!!!!!!
Until next time………………………