Budak I, Kosec B, Sokovic M.
Application of contemporary engineering techniques and technologies in the field of dental prosthetics
Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering 2012:54;233-41
Purpose: During the last couple of decades, development of medical science has been marked with an ever more pronounced interdisciplinary character which, in part, can be attributed to various engineering applications. Rapid development of computer-aided technologies, which completely transformed production engineering, also left an indelible mark on dental prosthetics. Striving towards its primary goal – primum non nocere (’Above all, do not harm!’), the area of dental prosthetics has introduced numerous novel technologies and methods which allow manufacture of precision, custom-made, optimal dental replacements. Design/methodology/approach: The aim of research – to contribute to integration of modern engineering technologies and computer-aided systems into dental prosthetics with special emphasis on efficient manufacture of dental replacements with precision which allows clinical applicability. The subject scope of the paper comprises modelling, manufacturing with special emphases on materials, quality inspection and environmental impact assessment (cleaner production). Findings: In the industrially developed countries, efforts have been concentrated towards advancement of modelling and manufacture of dental replacements by introducing modern computer equipment and state-of-the-art materials and machining technologies. However, in countries in transition, dental replacements are predominantly manufactured in a traditional, manual way prone to errors. The reasons for this situation are various. Practical implications: It is expected that this trend will have a significant impact on the further development of production engineering techniques and technologies in the near future. Originality/value: The paper evolved on the premise that there is a room for more intensive co-operation between the two disciplines – dental prosthetics and engineering, with a prospect for success of the development of novel, original solutions. In that sense, this paper should serve to both professions – production engineers and dentists.