19 Tips for the Digital Lab

19 Tips for the Digital Lab Blog

CAD CAM and incorporating digital into your workflow is not always straightforward. How can you get the most out of your CAD CAM investment? We have identified the top best practices to optimize your CAD CAM workflow so that you can run your lab as efficiently and profitably as possible.

Tip #1: Organize your office and lab layout using lean manufacturing methods like prioritizing and grouping cases together by using colored naming tags and writing the due dates on tags. You can find more methods of lean manufacturing here.

Tip #2: Find the right software for electronic case tracking. You’ll have visibility into the movement of cases and can pull reports on the number of remakes, how many cases are processed in a day, etc.

Tip #3: Cross-train your staff for when members are out and keep up with industry trends by continually educating and training the team.

Tip #4: Create a chipping checklist to identify causes and solutions to prevent in-house remakes.

Tip #5: To prevent chipping, conform to a minimum thickness of 0.6mm and a margin offset of at least 0.2mm. Contact the dentist if you receive a design that doesn’t meet minimum thicknesses to make adjustments.

Tip #6: Check the CAM strategy and choose the correct machine. Check the material originally selected and the tools chosen.

Tip #7: Produce quick simulations for larger cases to make sure it mills correctly.

Tip #8: Use the right tools – don’t use the same burr on zirconia and PMMA, but it’s okay to use the same on zirconia and wax. Track how long a tool has been inside a mill.

Tip #9: Proper tool changing is critical – make sure you don’t let the drill tip touch anything but the material it will be milling so you don’t cause a small fracture that can cause chipping.

Tip #10: Clean your mill after every job to prevent build up. Cleaning your wet mill is especially important as it can cause serious damage.

Tip #11: Have the following air requirements for your system: PSI, CFM, oil filtration, moisture filtration, and particulate filtration systems. Also, run compressed air through the spindle.

Tip #12: Follow weekly and monthly maintenance instructions from the manufacturer and create a log or form for maintenance needed that remains in-view for operators to sign off on.

Tip #13: Create a maintenance checklist. Basics to look out for include unstable surfaces can cause vibrations, collet chuck maintenance, and stable temperature in the environment.

Tip #14: Always check manufacturer’s recommended workflows for liquids for dipping or painting. Many systems are now in two parts: incisal modifiers and body shades. Consistent workflows equal consistent, high-quality units.

Tip #15: Always follow proper cleaning and decontaminating processes for your sintering oven as failing to can result in random misfires and greening of units.

Tip #16: Run a database cleanup of your PC every 6 months or sooner to speed up the system. Keep up with updates!

Tip #17: Design computer maintenance – run Windows disk cleanup and defragment your hard drive. Back up old cases onto an external USB or cloud service so that you don’t lose critical data.

Tip #18: When cleaning up CAM PCs, keep CAM files for about a month in case you need to revisit a case. Regularly clean out CNC files.

Tip #19: Upgrade your software system every 3 to 4 years to ensure that later updates work properly. When dealing with internet connectivity, using wired internet results in faster connection and is more stable than wireless.

For more explanation of these tips, be sure to check out our eBook, 19 Tips for the Digital Lab here.

Allison Burns

Marketing Associate

Zahn Dental

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