Digital Dentistry | COVID-19 Recovery

Glidewell Digital Dentistry

Why Digital?

The immediate and lasting future will be one that relies heavily on assurances of safety, efficiency and reliability. As the longtime leader in digital restorative technology, Glidewell is making it easier than ever for dentists to realize these and other benefits of an all-digital workflow. 

As a dedicated clinician, you’ve made it your mission to see to the health and confidence of every patient who walks through your door. Glidewell is similarly committed to helping more patients receive access to quality dentistry and to helping dental practices thrive. With digitized restorative services, Glidewell can help better support each of the following clinical needs:

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Safety

The ability to maintain the health of patients and staff are our top priority, just as they are yours.

Predictability

To keep patient interactions to a minimum, all clinical procedures should be as simplified, straightforward and reliable as possible.

Accuracy

In uncertain economic times, your chair time is more precious than ever, so case adjustments must be minimal or unnecessary.

Cash

Having capital on hand gives dental professionals the freedom to choose how they want to maneuver during unexpected downturns and recovery periods.

Efficiency

Waste and inefficiency can now have critical consequences for practices, making it increasingly important to ensure you’re operating at your highest possible potential.

With the proper “SPACE,” dentists can still practice successfully in these uncertain times — and with clear competitive advantages going forward. 

Embrace The Future Without Changing How You Work

At Glidewell, we believe digital technology should improve your workflow without disrupting it. That’s why we offer entry points built around your current capabilities and needs, whatever those may be.

Traditional Dental Impression Tray Icon

Ship It

For clinicians who have not yet invested in chairside digital technologies, or prefer to submit an elastomeric impression, Glidewell makes it possible to convert to a digital workflow when the case is received at the laboratory, using a suite of proprietary laboratory innovations collectively known as Glidewell Intelligent Manufacturing (IM).

Intraoral Scanner Icon

Scan it

Dentists who have invested in an intraoral scanner realize a number of key benefits when sending their digital impressions to Glidewell for lab-made restorations. We easily accept files from any intraoral scanner, provide specialized data optimization services, and offer standard 3-day in-lab turnaround. Model-free restorations produced from intraoral scans receive a discount of $20 or more per unit!

Augmented Crown Production Icon

Mill it

Intraoral scanners also empower dentists to deliver same-day restorations using the glidewell.io In-Office Solution. By scanning, designing and milling in-office, practitioners can offer patients a single-visit restorative experience that minimizes time spent in the chair and reduces the risks associated with cross-contamination.

Digital Dentistry Workflow
Glidewell Intelligent Manufacturing
All-Access Digital Dentistry

With Glidewell Intelligent Manufacturing (IM), the lab is able to take a clinician’s elastomeric impression and immediately convert it into a digital file. Restoration production then commences using a virtual study model within a design environment enhanced by artificial intelligence, before culminating in a computer-enhanced robotic milling and quality control center. The nearly hands-free process is faster, more accurate and more precise—and all but eliminates exposure to potentially pathogenic physical impressions or study models.

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Stone-Free, Model-Free Restorations
Glidewell IM frees the clinician from requiring stone models. While many practitioners are accustomed to using models to verify the fit and function of a restoration prior to delivery, the enhanced accuracy of the Glidewell IM digital workflow eliminates this need. Crown design and morphology is confirmed repeatedly throughout the manufacturing process, with the final restoration receiving an enhanced quality check before leaving the laboratory.

Step 1: Micro CT Impression Scanning

Micro CT Impression Scanning enables the lab to digitize elastomeric impressions in order to eliminate errors introduced by traditional plaster models, and to minimize the potential proliferation of virulent pathogens associated with these physical, interim case materials.

The advanced imaging and scanning capabilities of micro-CT technology provide for a faster, more accurate means of crown fabrication—a goal that allows doctors to provide their patients with leading-edge restorative treatment.

Should an error occur at any point during fabrication of the restoration, the technician can retrieve the CT file and restart the production process without any wear or damage to the original impression.

Because of this groundbreaking new workflow, doctors can gain all the benefits of going fully digital without the investment or learning curve that might otherwise be required when implementing digital technology in the dental office.

Computed Tomography: Providing Consistency and Precision in Dental Restorations

Glidewell’s CT Process has improved patient treatment by providing better-fitting, more consistent restorations, while reducing the patient’s time between appointments.

Step 2: Virtual Plaster Experience (VPX)

In a conventional restorative process, incoming impressions would be used to produce plaster models. With digital files of CT-scanned impressions, the plaster model process takes place in a virtual environment. This proprietary process developed by Glidewell is termed Virtual Plaster Experience (VPX).

VPX software produces a three-dimensional image of a patient model based on the digitized impression file, and enables a technician to perform die trim and margin marking operations digitally. The software provides the technician with a comparative map that allows them to see exactly where they have trimmed in relation to the starting scan, highlighting any potential issues. If an error is identified, the user can simply revert to a prior file state and effectively “undo” the error, rather than having to retrieve the original impression and pour a new model.

VPX also provides image magnification, which allows the technician to better see the preparation when marking margins, and to undo/redo any margin markings along the way. Every step in file alteration can be reviewed to see precisely what happened, at which stage, so that the lab can better understand the results of each action and continuously improve future processes.

COVID-19 and a New Standard in Digital Dentistry

Traditional plaster processes are rendered obsolete by Glidewell’s new high-precision, digital study model environment.

Step 3: A.I.-Enhanced Restorative Design

Conventional restoration design software begins with a “one size fits all” approach and relies on the technician to craft the various features required to make that restoration unique. The process is time-consuming and can be subject to significant variation from one case to the next.

Glidewell Intelligent Manufacturing forgoes this “stock” approach in favor of a faster, more individualized solution. Initial restoration designs are automatically proposed by proprietary software that makes use of machine-learning algorithms derived from millions of unique restorative cases and takes into account the morphology of the patient’s surrounding dentition. From there, the technician can quickly accept or modify the design as needed, further “teaching” the software along the way.

Utilizing AI to Produce Better Crowns, Faster

Artificial intelligence may seem like a futuristic concept, but machine-learning technology is being used today to help dentists better serve their restorative patients.

Step 4: Augmented Production

The Glidewell IM production center is a first-of-its-kind marvel of engineering and robotics designed to fabricate patient-specific restorations at scale with unprecedented precision and consistency. This Industry 4.0 assembly of interconnected motor sensors, cloud-based software, and computer-enhanced robotics is in essence a “smart factory” of the future that serves to minimize the inherent variability of human interaction with its nearly hands-free operation, while offering levels of efficiency and visibility never before seen in the dental industry.

Painstakingly devised and assembled over years of effort by some of the leading engineering minds and technologies to be found anywhere in the world, the Glidewell IM production center automates the process of restoration fabrication in myriad ways that ultimately help to ensure a better fit and faster seating for dentist and patient, every time.

Should an unexpected error arise, cloud-based file storage ensures information is never lost, and restorations can be remade without the need for a new impression—sparing clinicians and their patients an unnecessary office visit.

The Digital Factory in Both the Modern Dental Lab and Clinic

The dental industry has experienced unprecedented change in the last decade with rise of digital technologies and significant developments in restorative materials.

Digital Impressions

Dentists who have invested in an intraoral scanner enjoy a direct interface to a digital workflow, and realize a number of key benefits when sending their digital impressions to Glidewell for lab-made restorations. We easily accept digital impressions from all intraoral scanners, and consistently produce final restorations in just 3 working days!

Digital Crown Icon

Everyday Savings

Save $20 per unit on model-free all-ceramic cases, and $40 per unit on custom abutments and screw-retained implant crowns. Minimizing these everyday restorative costs can result in significant long-term financial advantages.

Digital Dentistry Technician Image

File Optimization

Glidewell’s specially trained team evaluates the fidelity of each intraoral scan, verifying data integrity before cases enter production. This enables us to smooth out any data gaps or inconsistencies that may ultimately compromise restoration quality.

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Experience

Glidewell has produced over 2 million restorations from digital impressions, while pioneering continual CAD/CAM dentistry advancements. Our 25 dedicated digital technicians boast more than 175 total years of combined experience specializing in digital restorations.

Send Your Case Your Way

To experience the Glidewell digital advantage, simply send us your next case using your delivery method of choice. 

For dentists seeking more personal control of their digital workflow, Glidewell proudly offers the glidewell.io™ In-Office Solution. This versatile system provides the simplest way to scan, deliver and mill chairside restorations in a single visit — or seamlessly connect to digital production experts at Glidewell for assistance with more complex cases.

With the ability to mill fully sintered BruxZir® Zirconia and other popular materials with no oven wait, the glidewell.io solution becomes an efficient “do it yourself” lab in the comfort of the office, with built-in flexibility and support at any stage of the process, and with significant savings opportunities for the everyday restorative work at the heart of a dentist’s practice.

Learn more about this groundbreaking solution and calculate everyday restorative savings for your practice.

Saving Time, Preserving Health In An Era Of Pandemic

In the unfortunate environment brought about by the COVID-19 crisis, single-visit dentistry is going to be more beneficial than ever for practices and patients. Naturally, this treatment modality reduces risk of exposure. But it also serves to better accommodate the vast number of patients who may be returning from layoffs or started new jobs. These patients may not have the luxury of taking multiple days away from work for dental appointments, and will appreciate the dentist who can serve them more efficiently.

Intraoral Scanner in Use

Digital Your Way

However you choose to operate your practice, and whatever your level of interest or investment, Glidewell can help you realize the very best that digital dentistry has to offer — a near certain pathway to successfully practicing in today’s environment and beyond.

  • Safety
  • Predictability
  • Accuracy
  • Cash
  • Efficiency
  • Safety
  • Predictability
  • Accuracy
  • Cash
  • Efficiency