As you walk though any dental tradeshow floor these days, the trend is clearly digital, digital and more digital. There is certainly no shortage of choices when it comes to intraoral scanners (IOS), lab scanners and milling machines. I remember just 10 years ago seeing booth after booth with alloy manufacturers - and this year I noticed that some of those companies have taken their focus and investments out of gold and put it in… drum roll please… Zirconia!

There are certainly a plethora of zirconia discs out there to choose from and the competition is stiff! It was refreshing to see that there are now more milling materials being manufactured right here in the US.

To help you understand the growing popularity of zirconia and its growing importance in the dental lab, check out the following infographic. This visual guide points to some of the important trends in CAD/CAM milled restorations and a few predictions for the future.

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The one thing I think that we can all agree on is whether you are a small, medium or large lab CAD/CAM is going to be an important part of your future. For some, embracing that change is easy and for others it is a little scary. Traditional PFM’s certainly are still a viable part of the dental laboratory, but the trend of CAD/CAM produced restorations has shown that it is here to stay and will continue to grow.

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