Delcam’s latest dental design and milling software at Dental South China

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Delcam will demonstrate the latest releases of its DentCAD and DentMILL software for the design and milling of dental restorations at the Dental South China exhibition to be held Guangzhou from 3rd to 6th March.   Both programs have been made more productive for the design and manufacture of all types of dental restoration, including crowns, bridges, customised abutments and dental bars. 

The 2014 release of DentCAD includes improvements to the shaping of restorations such as crowns and bridges.  These enhancements build on the high-definition GPU methods for modelling introduced in the 2013 release to give much better representation of fine details such as cusps and fissures on the tooth.  The new methods allow much more dynamic editing, with greater control over the final shape.  In addition, a new option has been added giving the ability to restore the original shape in any area of the design.

Crown and bridge work now includes mamelons for anterior work that help the lab technician to make his work significantly more life-like.  This is done by creating pre-defined ripples on the buccal aspect of all anterior cases so as to disperse light within the crown, giving it a more naturally aesthetic appearance.

Another key area for DentCAD is dental bar design.  An improved user interface has been added to give easier manipulation of the shape, dimensions and position of the bar, plus it is now possible to use multiple cross-sections in the same bar.

¾ crowns have been introduced for patients who have heavy bites so that they can have a combination of a strong underlying supportive material on the lingual and occlusal aspects but yet still have aesthetic, layered porcelain on the buccal surface.

Other new options in the 2014 release include the ability to edit the top shape of an abutment and to add shoulders to dental-bar abutments.  Improvements to the existing tools for editing abutments include options to add secondary draft to the side wall of the abutment and to flatten the top of the abutment.

A range of enhancements means that DentMILL users can work to unprecedented levels of accuracy and can be even more productive when manufacturing all types of dental restoration, including crowns, bridges, customised abutments and dental bars in the full range of dental materials. 

DentMILL 2014 includes a set of tools that enable the machining of absolutely precise geometry.  The great majority of design data from dental CAD systems is output as STL files. Since this format is based on triangles, it is difficult to achieve a high-precision fit of the implant interface onto the implant.

DentMILL overcomes this issue by overlaying predefined milling templates for the main OEM implant interfaces, in place of the lower-accuracy STL geometry for the interface region.  These templates are available from third party organisations, such as Bionumeric. 

The higher precision that results is particularly important for the machining of abutment interfaces, where an exact fit is required, both for the performance of the overall restoration and to ensure that the optimum patient outcome is achieved.

DentMILL can also import the vector information that defines the required alignment of the interface, another important factor in ensuring a precise fit.  Using the vector defined in the CAD model gives much greater accuracy than determining the direction from geometry within the STL file.

The second major area for improvement is DentMILL’s intelligent stock-management system.  This allows the user to select only sizes of material block that are currently in stock and that are suitable for the specified milling machine and fixture.  In DentMILL 2014, the system has been redeveloped to make it even easier to create the library of fixtures, block sizes and machine parameters that are needed. 

Once the material has been selected, the software applies automatically the appropriate shrinkage allowance and milling templates.  After machining has been completed, partly-used blocks can be added back into the stock-management system so that the material remaining can be used on future projects.

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