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Integrated CAD CAM Systems or Best in Class Components?

Adding a CAD CAM solution to dental labs has become commonplace. In fact, nearly every journal, lab meeting and educational program generally includes CAD CAM content. Traveling the path to purchase can take one down a couple of different paths. For the purpose of this blog, I will discuss two of what I believe to be the most viable end solution types. Keep in mind, there are pros and cons to each. That said, the importance of making the proper decision is critical to future profitability and the success of any dental lab.

When planning to purchase a CAD CAM components to complete a system, the primary components generally include a scanner and mill for hardware, software includes CAD and CAM. In this scenario, you will need all open architecture based products. Generally speaking, the scanner and CAD are bundled as a single purchase. Next you have the option to go and select best in class and/or best for your needs solutions for CAM, mill and scanner. This can result in a great system. For instance, CAP has assembled CAP Complete: http://cap-us.com/products/complete/, a line up of products and facilitated full integration to provide a great CAD CAM solution. At times, integrating random components to work well together can be a challenge. Another alternative, buy all the parts of the system from a single supplier that is a reputable distributor. Some distributors that use the products will likely have completed the integration process of all the components you are purchasing. While others are simply selling scanners and mills and have never used them.

An alternative to purchasing solutions made from several different manufacturers is to select a system designed, manufactured and integrated by a single company. By doing so, you eliminate the possibility of distributors inability to sort through problems. In addition, SOME systems have been integrated with super fast and easy to operate workflows. Please keep in mind, not all systems are created equal. There are some that have been huge disappointments to our industry. On the other hand, I have been introduced to and am working with the Amann Girrbach Ceramill Motion 2 and am quite amazed as to the ease of use and streamlined workflow this system provides. It’s obvious that AG has put significant resources into developing an easy to operate workflow, versatility of the solution, as well as building a solution that is best in class and future-proof.

In conclusion, selecting a complete system developed by one manufacturer or buying individual components from best in class manufacturers can lead to a great solution. What’s most important, buy from a reputable distributor and get information on existing customer satisfaction. Today the choices are so abundant there is no reason to become burdened with an inferior solution.

Good luck,

Bob Cohen, CDT

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