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"Today, monolithic is king." Here are other highlights of the DLOAC event: Despite the fact that dentists continue to be slow to adopt digital impression techniques, the systems are still regarded as the future of dentistry given their benefits and the fact that new models are smaller, easier to use and less expensive than their predecessors.

"I'm convinced we're heading away from stone models," said Dr.

While these types of systems don't solve the core problem of poor impression-taking techniques, they don't require the dentist to change his technique, further digitizes the fabrication process and helps "bridge the gap" until more dentists get on board with intraoral scanners.

New digital systems and processes eliminate the need for a traditional, poured up model and materials for printed models are also being improved.

The company previewed its new Digital Prep Guide, currently in beta testing, at the Dental Laboratory Owners' Association of California's (DLOAC) CAD/CAM Expo and Symposium in November in Garden Grove, CA.

Here's how it works: at the patient's first visit, if the dentist doesn't have an intraoral scanner, he takes a conventional impression then sends it to the lab where the technician fabricates a model, scans it and sends the digital file back to the dentist.

Nobel Biocare offered a limited release of its new software, Nobel Procera 4.7, which allows users to design and fabricate titanium abutments.

TRIOS, the much-anticipated intraoral scanner from 3Shape, is now available in the U. Retailing between ,000-,000, it doesn't require the use of spray, captures more than 3,000 2D images per second and includes tools that allow the dentist to edit his scans.

TRIOS resellers include Biodenta, Biolase, Cad Blu, 3DBio CAD and Kastle Mills in Canada.

"The system reduces prep time for a single unit to three to five minutes and eliminates a temp as well as an additional patient visit," said Daniel Jung, B&D's President and CTO, who has been working on the product for the last year and a half with his 20-person R&D team.

"We originally developed the system for Maryland-type bridges but we've expanded to full crowns and bridges and are also working on incorporating veneers." The system will be available early this year.

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