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What does dental lab equipment include?

by:Golden Promise     2023-06-15

Dental labs are the places where dental professionals create, repair, and modify oral appliances, like dentures, crowns, bridges, and mouthguards. All dental lab technicians use a variety of specialized tools and equipment to produce quality products, based on each individual patient's unique needs.

In this article, we will explain the various pieces of equipment that are commonly found in dental laboratories.

1. Dental Casting Machines

Dental casting machines are among the most essential types of equipment in dental labs. They create precise imprints of anatomy for prosthetic devices, using a mix of high-pressure air and heat to compress molten metal or dental resins. This equipment can take digital input from digital CAD/CAM equipment or traditional techniques.

2. Microscopes

Dental lab professionals use microscopes to magnify objects, allowing for closer examination of detail. The microscope's life-size image allows dental lab technicians to detect minute details and imperfections that might escape the human eye, which is especially important for dental crown and bridge work.

3. Computer-Aided Design Technology

Computer-aided design (CAD) technology is widely used in modern dental labs. Computer software is fed with data to create 3D graphics of dental restorations, custom made for an individual patient. The technology is fast and accurate, minimizing human error, resulting in high precision and consistent quality.

4. Pressure Pots and Wax Heaters

To create dental prostheses, wax is used to make molds, which are then filled with dental restorative materials or metals. A pressure pot is then used to pressure cook the molds to remove any air bubbles, leading to a better casting. Wax heaters are required to maintain an ideal temperature for the wax, to enable accurate molding of prostheses.

5. Vibrators

Vibrators are used in dental laboratories to reduce bubble formation in molds. The vibrating motion compacts the dental materials and eliminates any negative space, with resultant units being sturdy as a result.

6. Casting ovens and furnaces

Casting ovens and furnaces are used to heat and cool dental casting materials, providing the optimal temperature environment for processing. The casting material is heated to a liquid and then poured into the mold, and when cool, the outer mold is removed, and what remains is the prosthetic device.

7. Dental Sandblasters

Dental sandblasters are used to clean and polish dental restorations, with this piece of equipment helping to titer and create consistency in texture. Sandblasters may also be used with water and ceramic beads to control texture while polishing restorations. The final outcome is a smooth and polished surface.

In conclusion, dental laboratories use a wide range of specialized equipment to create prostheses according to individual patient needs. Technological advancements, improved accuracy, and the speed at which the equipment can generate a dental appliance make dental laboratory procedures much more predictable and efficient. Dentists can therefore be confident in their lab's quality and predictability, providing a better outcome for their patients.

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