It's hard to believe that 2016 is coming to a close. It has been another exciting year for Whip Mix and the dental industry. While we are excited to see what 2017 brings, we wanted to share with you some of the most popular articles from our blog in 2016 and a few you may have missed. Enjoy!

3 Things to Consider When Coloring Full Contour Zirconia

Let’s face it, achieving spot on shades with full contour zirconia isn’t always easy. There are so many variables that can affect the outcome of getting the right shade. Here are some variables to consider:

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Open But Not Equal: Understanding the STL File Format

In today’s world of dental technology, we often see that one of the biggest selling points for CAD/CAM systems is that they are “open.”  So what does that mean exactly? In the case of dental CAD/CAM systems it means that at some given point you can export an industry standard file format, the STL file, and import it into another company’s system. Depending on the system they may be more or less open. For instance, one system may allow you to export an STL after scanning or designing, while another system will only let you export your final design. In other cases, you may have to pay a fee to open the system. No matter what “open” system you use they all use proprietary formats on the back-end. The reason for this is that in the 30 years since the STL file format was created, there have been many advancements in how 3D objects are represented. Proprietary formats tend to be much smaller in file size compared to the same file as an STL.  They may also include information that an STL file can’t represent, like surface colors or textures.

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Homer Simpson’s Guide to Dental Mills

If you Google “dental mill” you get about 15,000,000 results in 0.56 seconds. There have been multiple articles and blogs written to help you choose the right mill for your dental lab or office, including several by yours truly. With all the information out there, it can be somewhat confusing and a bit overwhelming; sometimes it's best if things are made simple. So, in honor of the man that made D’OH! famous, let’s take a look at the basics of dental mills.

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3 Things You Can Do To Prevent Gypsum Model Chipping

Gypsum model chipping can be a very frustrating issue for technicians in the dental laboratory. Most of the time we tend to think that it is the Model and Die Technicians who are doing ‘something’ to cause this problem, but the fact is that there is enough room to share the issue!

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4 Compelling Reasons You Should Think Outside Of The Reline

I got my start in the dental industry in *ahem* 1993, back home in Columbus, Ohio. At the young age of 5, my mother would ask me at the end of every school year what I wanted to be when I grew up. My answer was consistent during those 13 years of my life… “Mom, I want to be a Dentist!” My junior year in high school I had an opportunity to be introduced to the dental industry and I took it. I attended a vocational school for Dental Lab Technology for a half day my last two years in high school. I was truly inspired by my instructors, Phillip Shepherd and Frank Moeckel, who were both extremely passionate, not only about our industry, but raising up new technicians and giving direction to their students. I participated in every extra-curricular activity so I could learn more, which included participating in a state wide VICA contest. I placed second in the state of Ohio as a student dental technician and it was then that I was hooked! No turning back. I loved working at the bench as a removable technician… but there was always a love hate relationship between me and the reline cases that came through the lab.

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Why Dental Labs Should Proactively Discuss Digital Impressions With Their Dentists

As I reflect on the last 23 years of my career in the dental industry it is evident that things have changed. We just don’t do things the way we used to. Just one example, when I was in dental lab school we poured stone into our impressions, but with digital technology on the rise we now have many dental labs that have gone completely model less with the help of digital impressions. If someone had told me back then that we would be printing models from digital impressions in the near future I would have told them that they were crazy. But here we are, immersed in digital technology and printing models. Embracing these changes come easier for some than others. For those that fear or fight the change, I would like to encourage you to embrace it; Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

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4 Tips For Achieving A Successful Casting

In today’s world of dentistry, everyone is buzzing about the many benefits of digital dentistry and the bright future in store for the dental community as a whole. While it is true, there are many exciting things on the horizon in the digital realm, there are still many who rely on the lost wax casting technique to provide a quality low-tech option for the patient’s dental needs.

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Everything Dentists Need To Know About Sleep, Bruxism & Sleep Disordered Breathing [Ebook]

Sleep is an important part of our overall health. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that for adults (26-64) between 7-9 hours of sleep each night, but when pressed for time sleep is the first thing that is given up.

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Understanding 3D Printing: What Dental Professionals Need To Know

With Lab Day Chicago 2016 coming to an end, my colleagues and I noticed the newest trend taking over in the dental lab industry, 3D Printing. With 3D printing being a rather new technology there is still a lot of education needed on what 3D printing is, the types of printing available and which is best suited for the dental industry.

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[Video] Why Do We Need Bite Records, Facebow Transfers & Semi-Adjustable Articulators?

The success of any restorative case is only as good as the data that is captured. When dealing with 3+ unit restorative cases, its imperative that dentists capture as much patient data as possible. These records, when used with a semi-adjustable articulator, are key to planning and executing a successful case.

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Dental Insights: A Look At Zirconia In The Dental Lab [Infographic]

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!

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Dentists in the Driver's Seat in Identifying Patients with Sleep Disordered Breathing

Understanding airway and the impact it has on the patient has long been undertaken by the medical community.  With sleep disordered breathing (SDB) becoming a growing concern, and with data showing links between bruxism and airway, dentists are now partnering with medical to assist those with airway issues.

As preventive care specialists, dentists have the ability to screen for airway issues and measure for sleep disordered breathing with home monitoring systems. When identifying patients with sleep disordered breathing, they may choose between the following paths:

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What Dental Professionals Need to Know About CAN-SPAM and Building an Opt-In Email Strategy

Email marketing has become an important part of the overall marketing strategy for many dental offices and dental labs. It’s a great way to reach customers and prospects easily for relatively little cost. In fact, email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social (Monetate). However, what many struggle with is how to build a good email database.

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MaxAlign & The Edentulous Patient 

Function and esthetics go hand in hand, and being able to deliver a set of dentures that fit correctly as well as looks nice is the ultimate goal when working with an edentulous patient.

One important part of working with edentulous patients is capturing important patient data to be used by the lab who will fabricate the dentures. Many times, when the lab receives a case, they become somewhat like a detective, as they work to put a puzzle together without really knowing what the end picture is like if key patient data is missing.

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3Shape Quick Tip: How To Accept A Trios® Intraoral Scan For Production

First, congratulations, being a TRIOS® Ready Lab can really open doors for your dental lab. While receiving your first intraoral scan can be nerve-racking because you are putting all your trust into technology and computers, you don't need to worry. By following the steps below you will be able to successfully accept your TRIOS® intraoral scan into production with ease.

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What to hear more or less on a particular topic? Let us know in the comments section.



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