If you are involved with a business that offers different types of dental solutions, you must have heard about CAD/CAM, which is a popular as well as a useful technology. While most of the dental labs are confused about which equipment to buy, professionals are also equally worried about the fact that how this technology can be incorporated in a current business model and how it will require one to establish and adapt new workflows. Following your competitors, you might have decided to invest in a CAD/CAM scanner, but before making any final decisions, you must make sure that you have an integrated lab management solution and proper file management systems, as without these, it will be difficult to increase profitability and productivity.
Problem that everybody faces with CAD/CAM
Just like all other technologies, you have to face some challenges with this technology as well and it is important to figure out how to integrate the scanned files into your lab’s workflow. It is quite ironic that with this explosion of new technology in the dental lab industry, most of the machines seem to be ‘digital islands’ as they have no connections to other machines or to the lab management software itself. The scanners that are currently available in market don’t provide anything other than the digitally scanned files and if there are not some huge changes in the technology itself, it will be difficult to integrate that file with your billing, case history, production notes or clinical discussions. Next, you need to connect the scanned files with case management software.
What should you do with the CAD/CAM scan files?
One of the biggest questions that people face is whether the scan files should be archived or deleted. If you have already opted for making or selling CAD/CAM restorations, then you are absolutely aware how difficult it is to manage all the files. Even before you can understand how you can organize all the files, you should have a clear knowledge of what files you must keep and for how long. Now, there are varying opinions regarding this matter. While some of the lab professionals say that finished restoration is what one needs basically and there is no need to save the digital files, some other professionals believe that keeping every single file as a digital ‘paper trail’ for at least 7 years is important.
How to integrate the scanned files into a workflow?
It is common for most of the labs to organize their folders for individual clients and attach the respective design files and scans to the case records, which is quite time consuming. One of the best solutions to avoid this is to streamline the flow of data between CAD/CAM and scanners of any other software.
Back up CAD/CAM data
If you are completely depending upon the hard drive of your computer and an external drive, you might have to face loss of data since all hard drives might fail, at any point of time. This is why it is advisable to use an online backup service.
Author Bio: +Tom Hagan, is well known for dental laboratory outsourcing. He provides dental equipment and materials for a dental lab. He likes to write blog on various areas of dentistry to help others fix their smile.