Humans continue to make huge technological strides in all aspects of life; the dental industry is no exception. With each passing year, there are new techniques and advancements for digital dentistry. As a lab or practice, keeping up to date is crucial for survival into the future.
With labs and practices worldwide continuing to increase implementation of CAD/CAM systems, a crossroads between an open or closed system appears; taking the correct path of investment is not always an easy decision.
Although both open and closed CAD/CAM systems have a faster and smoother prosthesis creation process than traditional method, both have their advantages over the other. However, the future is bright and keeping up with the present technology will only become more important with each new advancement.
Here are five reasons to choose an open CAD/CAM system rather than a closed CAD/CAM system.
5 Reasons to Choose an Open CAD/CAM System
- There is greater flexibility with an open CAD/CAM system.
With an open system, you have a greater range of brands to choose from. Unlike the closed system, you are not forced into buying specific equipment; a common concern in the field. You are not stuck with what you have and are free to change as you see fit. This leads to the second benefit.
- Compatibility is greater with open systems.
While it is true that closed CAD/CAM systems have plug-and-play connections, they do not integrate with other brands. While many systems allow for open stl support and can import it, the format will be changed to fit their system. Open systems are able to work with the same stl file format without needing to conform the file to their system.
- Closed systems are limited in the scope of potential partners.
Let’s assume a practice and lab have been working together to produce prostheses for several years and have become trusted partners. Suddenly, if the practice implements a closed CAD/CAM system, the lab will need to acquire the same system. If not, the partnership could no longer be continued as their systems would no longer be compatible. This could all be avoided with an open system.
- Open CAD/CAM systems are more affordable than the closed systems.
Affordability is on everyone’s mind when choosing to invest in something new. Obviously, return on investment is the most important aspect when looking at investments, however, total cost is also important. First of all, having an open system allows you to work with your budget. Open source CAD/CAM systems are also part of the market economy, creating competition for the process, allowing for more competitive pricing models.
- Open CAD/CAM systems are better at remaining up to date.
Technology is constantly changing and therefore the flexibility and compatibility of the open system allow the lab or practice to follow the technological trends of the technological age. Unlike with an open system, a closed system needs to wait for a specific brand that works with their system to provide updates rather than being free to replace parts whenever new technology comes out. Companies offering their services for a specific process such as scanning will be able to provide special services and updates to keep the system up to date.
Although CAD/CAM systems are becoming necessary for labs and practices, one must make a choice between an open or closed system. At some point, a decision on which to use must be made and finding which best fits your situation and needs is important. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages but the open CAD/CAM system provides much opportunity for the future.