All this year, DPS is celebrating our 45th anniversary. Over the course of the year, we will take a look back at our history and look to the future in a series of blog posts. In this post, we’ll look at the ever evolving dental lab technology and how it affects your patients and your practice.
“When my parents started DPS in the 70s, one of their goals was to offer quality work at
a fair price to dentists in Eastern Iowa,” said Kris Van Cleve, President and co-owner of DPS. “To achieve that balance, they looked to processes and materials that were of the highest quality. 45 years ago my parents saw the value in investing in technology and understanding what was on the horizon to better serve our customers. That eye toward the future is a big part of our laboratory’s culture today. New materials and techniques are constantly emerging and we work to evaluate those trends to pick the most effective and efficient.”
DPS founders, Paul and EJane Jones were early members of TEREC, a select group of independently owned regional dental laboratories focused on bringing leading edge technology to dentists and their patients. Early projects included bonded all-porcelain restorations developed with Dr. Mark Jensen at the University of Iowa Dows Center for Clinical Research, Procera Alumina crowns, the TEREC Denture System and the Capella 6 crown developed with Lee Culp, CDT. DPS remains an active member of this prestigious group.
CAD/CAM technology entered the dental field in the 1980s with the first iterations of CEREC. DPS has continued to research and evaluate emerging technologies to offer our clients improved, practical, value-driven digital alternatives to existing analog products.
With advancements in material science, milling technologies, and 3D printing, many of our products are able to be crafted at higher levels of precision, with greater benefits to patients while controlling costs. One example is the marginal integrity, strength, and esthetics of our CAD/CAM Nautilus zirconia line of products. Nautilus is equal to or better than a full cast gold or porcelain fused to high noble crown, at a fraction of the cost.
“Whether evaluating materials for milling or 3D printing, it is important to understand that all technologies and materials are not equal” said Dennis Becker, Vice President and co-owner of DPS.
Sourcing the best solutions for our clients has remained a priority throughout our history. We are proud that in recent tests conducted through TEREC in cooperation with Ivoclar Vivadent, our Nautilus zirconia exhibited the highest strength in the high translucency zirconia category. It tested 18 percent stronger and 7 percent more translucent than the most popular zirconia restoration on the market.
3D printing has allowed us to improve the consistency and fit of our cast partial dentures as well as provide highly accurate models from our clients’ intra-oral scanning systems. Partnering with highly respected 3D printing companies such as Carbon 3D, 3D Systems, and BEGO allows us to offer our clients a variety of printed options for their restorative needs.
As we look to the near future, we see advances in digitally designed and printed dentures, as well as new materials and applications for 3D printed appliances.
“As the dental lab technology changes, our mission to improve the appearance and health of patients remains the same,” said Van Cleve. “We do that by combining our 45 years of industry expertise, craftsmanship, and technology to help our doctors achieve the best patient outcomes.”