, Germany, 22 March 2011:
At Europe’s largest dental trade fair, the International Dental Show, three companies, Dental Wings, 3M ESPE and Straumann today announced that they are joining forces to create an open global standard software platform for use across a range of dental applications. The initiative is expected to offer enhanced flexibility, simplicity, and convenience for users, while saving time, costs and investment risk. The need for standardization in digital dentistry is acute as the number of different systems and software platforms has risen considerably, adding complexity and confusion for dentists and dental laboratories. Standardized software is expected to be a main driver of the digital market.
To advance industry standardization, 3M ESPE and Straumann have agreed to adopt Dental Wings’ software platform DWOS as the core operating software in their CADCAM solutions. The combined resources of several partners can be expected to achieve significantly more than those of a stand-alone provider. This initiative thus has excellent prospects for establishing the leading software platform in the field.
Thanks to its focused specialist team, Dental Wings has established itself as a leading developer of dental software. 3M ESPE and Straumann add strong expertise and leadership in their fields including digital solutions. The combination of resources will accelerate the development of DWOS into a best-in-class, preferred system. Both 3M ESPE and Straumann will continue to build their own specific applications on top of the core software adding value for their customers. Other companies are encouraged to join the collaboration and to contribute to shaping the platform’s future. Straumann, 3M and Dental Wings all support the initiative to extend the Dicom standard1 to the prosthetics value chain.
The preferred software platform
The scope, quality, and functionality of the DWOS platform provide a solution of choice for communication, design and collaboration within dentistry. DWOS is commercially available as an open system and offers dental laboratories the flexibility of designing prosthetics using data from multiple systems and sources, for instance in-lab model scans, chairside intra-oral scans, and impression scans received directly from dental practices. The restorations can be manufactured in-house or outsourced to an increasing number of production centers. The DWOS platform is strongly positioned to become the leading open software platform of choice, bridging clinicians with manufacturers.
Dental Wings to form a separate dedicated software entity
Established in 2007, Dental Wings is a leading provider of dental CADCAM solutions and is specialized in the development of design and manufacturing software dedicated to different dental market segments. The company, which is privately owned, also develops, manufactures and sells 3D scanners to the dental industry. It is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
In order to focus its businesses, Dental Wings has decided to transform its scanner and software businesses as two separate entities. The software business will operate under a new company brand, ‘Open Digital Dentistry’, which will develop and market DWOS and concentrate on dental software development.
Naoum Araj, President of Dental Wings, commented: “Without leveling the playing field through standardization, the challenge of developing new process work-flows will be impossible – so we are very excited by this opportunity to create a standard for dental design with two of the dental industry’s leading companies. Creating a standard will reduce the confusion caused by incompatible systems and will drive growth in digital dentistry.
Dental professionals should no longer be locked into specific scanning or manufacturing systems and we believe that a common platform will revolutionize the dental industry. Our goal is to provide broad access to the most innovative technologies including scanners, materials and design / manufacturing services. That is why Dental Wings is committed to making DWOS an open and collaborative software platform that offers flexibility and ensures fit.
In order to expand DWOS to cover most dental applications, we have decided to create a new independent entity dedicated to, and focused on, dental software. This will be located in Switzerland.”
3M ESPE is a pioneer in dentistry, bringing trusted brands to clinicians worldwide for half a century. The company manufactures and markets more than 2000 products and services designed to help dental professionals improve their patients’ oral health care. 3M ESPE is also a pioneer and leader in digital dentistry -- processing millions of successful digitally constructed restorations via the Lava Network for the last ten years.
3M Health Care‚ one of 3M’s six major business segments‚ provides world-class innovative products and services to help health care professionals improve the practice and delivery of patient care in medical‚ oral care‚ drug delivery and health information markets.
Larry Lair, President and General Manager of 3M ESPE, commented: “We believe the collaboration of industry leaders is needed to support an open software standard. 3M ESPE is pleased to join forces with Straumann and Dental Wings to establish the global software standard for digital dental design. 3M ESPE is one of the pioneers of digital dentistry, bringing over 10 years of experience in delivering precise productive solutions to dental laboratories as well as high quality, trusted restorations and materials to clinicians. Combining this experience with strong partners like Straumann and Dental Wings will enable us to deliver high quality precise workflows from a single open platform – eliminating the need for technicians to learn multiple systems.”
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, the Straumann Group is a global leader in implant and restorative dentistry and oral tissue regeneration. In collaboration with leading clinics, research institutes and universities, Straumann researches, develops and manufactures dental implants, instruments, prosthetics and tissue regeneration products for use in tooth replacement and restoration solutions or to prevent tooth loss. Straumann products and services are available in more than 70 countries through its broad network of distribution subsidiaries and partners.
Straumann entered the field of digital dentistry in 2007, though the acquisition of etkon AG. The Group moved into computer guided surgery and intra-oral scanning in 2009. It manufactures CADCAM scanners and design software – in addition to being the world leader in implant dentistry. In 2010, the company accelerated its push into digital dentistry through the in-house development and launch of the completely new Straumann CARES CADCAM system.
Beat Spalinger, President & CEO of Straumann, commented: “Customers want functional standardized software that connects them to multiple data sources. At the same time, they want maximum flexibility and full assurance of predictability, quality and reliability. The initiative we are announcing today enables us to fulfill those requirements. The concept of our partnership will enable us to offer the advantages of a standard open system in combination with additional differentiated Straumann applications. These add value for customers. They also provide seamless connectivity throughout the workflow and ensure full Straumann quality.”
Digitalization: shaping the future
Digital technologies are becoming increasingly widespread in dentistry and cover a broad spectrum of applications – from general practice-management to treatment planning, imaging, guided surgery, digital impression-taking, right through to computer-aided prosthetic design and manufacture. Digital technology offers tremendous advantages: it adds flexibility, convenience and precision in addition to saving time and costs. However, the industry is fragmented and few systems offer broad connectivity. There is therefore a compelling need for simplification through standardization.
Combined resources to drive development
Software requirements will increase with the development of new integrated functions. However, development funding is limited and inefficient because it is channeled by competing companies to multiple, individual, closed systems, most of which serve the same purpose. The combined resources of several partners can be expected to achieve more than those of stand-alone providers. In view of this, DWOS has excellent prospects for becoming the leading software platform in the field.
Benefits for customers
The general adoption of standardized software that meets present and future challenges is expected to offer a number of benefits to dental professionals, particularly laboratories – for instance, the possibility of using a common platform and working with different companies and brands. In addition to enhanced simplicity, flexibility and convenience, a standard platform would also save time in addition to reducing training and investment risk.
Dental Wings scanners already feature the DWOS software platform. 3M ESPE is launching its upgrade for the Lava Scan ST Design system at the IDS. Lava Design 7 is based on DWOS. Both the 3M ESPE Lava Chairside Oral Scanner and the iTero® intraoral scanning system supplied by Straumann can already be used with DWOS. Straumann’s pre-operative planning software is already connected to DWOS, while the company’s CARES CADCAM system is currently being adapted to incorporate it.
Working Group 22 of the Dicom initiative. DICOM is a broadly used global Information-Technology standard for medical imaging. DICOM's Working Group 22 has started a project to create a standard between dental scanning and design, as well as between dental design and manufacturing. Straumann, 3M and Dental Wings are active participants in the project, as well as other major players in the dental field.