The New 'Digital Universe' + Primeprint by Dentsply Sirona
On March 4th, 2022, Dentsply Sirona held a teaser event where they hinted about new products and software that will have huge ramifications on the digital dentistry industry. In particular, the critical point of interest was their new printer - the Primeprint.
On May 5th, 2022, two months later, they officially launched the Primeprint and made a surprise announcement about their new offering - DS Core.
DS Core is a new digital platform by Dentsply Sirona, which will serve as the foundation for their digital ecosystem moving forward for all dental practitioners to store and share patient data.
DS Core consists of two arms - DS Core Create, a CAD design service, and DS Core Care, the new service and support solution.
The Primeprint is a new 3D printer that focusses on ease of use and super automation features. While undoubtedly late to the 3D printing game, they finally have a product to offer.
The launch event was a long one - over 1 hour and 40 minutes, so we’ve broken down everything into easy-to-read bullet points that you can read through below. We are good like that. Enjoy.
If you do want to watch the whole thing then here it is, and we skipped forward the first 7m 25s of waiting music.
DS Core - the New Digital Platform by Dentsply Sirona
- DS Core is the new foundation of the Dentsply Sirona digital ecosystem going forwards. It will be the central platform starting today. DS Core will be a gateway for many different services for dentists.
- The message is simple - dental professionals want technology to be simplified. The focus seems to be a coherent worry-free platform and ecosystem to enable access to all patient files, collaboration with treatment providers and labs, and immediate support.
- Dentsply Sirona calls this the new era of Digital Dentistry for seamless and efficient workflows to collaborate with a lab or work chair-side for in-house CAD/CAM.
- It is a centralized place for all patient data - cone beams, intraoral scans, x-rays, photographs, etc., together into one comprehensive file. It is essentially another platform for the 'digital patient.' Not revolutionary and something that we have seen other major digital dentistry players launch like 3Shape with their Unite platform.
- With DS Core, you can access all your patient files from anywhere. DS Core will be the platform for patient engagement, diagnosis, treatment applications, and lab ordering.
- That platform will be usable via a web browser with an integrated 3D viewer for everything from scans to 3D X-rays.
- DS Core provides seamless integration with all Dentsply Sirona equipment such as Primescan, Axeos, Orthophos, etc.
- This platform is open. It is not just restricted to Dentsply Sirona file formats. The only thing open in this event 🙂
- DS Core is built on the Google Cloud platform - highly secure and fully supports HIPAA and GDPR compliance. Cases and data can be shared with peers and patients using DS Core.
- Free of charge for those that you share cases with. Dental professionals can share files with anyone in a protected and secured environment.
- It comes with up to 15 TB of storage in its initial release depending on what package you choose - 15 TB is the equivalent of 30,000 3D x-rays, 150,000 Primescan scans, or 3 million pictures.
- The specific packages were not disclosed.
- Cost? It is a subscription model that starts at under USD 20 per month.
- DS is building a global marketplace to allow labs to extend their reach. The company has ambitions to become the ‘ultimate patient cloud for dentists, patients, and labs. I think I have heard that somewhere before?
- There are two service products in DS Core - DS Core Create, their comprehensive design service, and - DS Core Care, their service and support solution.
- Only available in the US and Germany at this stage; more countries to follow soon.
DS Core Care
- DS Core Care is Dentsply Sirona’s new integrated equipment support and services package.
- The company says they intend to provide industry-leading support and service with its global distribution network.
- The message revolves around confidence, quality, and simplicity to maintain your Dentsply products.
- DS Core includes; Yearly maintenance of equipment, original spare parts, technical phone support, and a brand-new customer support portal for self-help.
- Their message is to achieve optimal treatment results, grow your practice, and make your patients happy.
- The focus of the talk seemed to be that you invested in an expensive piece of technology, and support is critical.
- There will be a dedicated support portal where staff can solve any issues with technology.
DS Core Create
- The second branch of the DS Core Universe
- Essentially a CAD design service - partnering with labs to enable dentists to outsource CAD design work.
- Currently, it is limited to single-unit restorations and night guards, but more indications will open up.
- Everything seems to be done within a web browser to make your orders for whatever service you want to use.
- Within 15 minutes of sending a scan, you will receive feedback from the DS Core Create team if the scan is sufficient quality for the order.
- Within 6 hours, the Core Create Lab can provide you with a design that you can fabricate, in the example in the video, a nightguard.
- The key seems to be easy clinic integration. Those who don't want to do CAD design or those experienced CAD/CAM offices pick and choose what they want to do or outsource to the lab.
- DS Core Create is an OPEN platform for all intraoral scanners.
While Dentsply Sirona teased us with minimal details a couple of months ago, this time, a lot more details were disclosed:
- Primeprint is a medical-grade 3D printing solution that focuses on ease of use, integration easily into the Dentsply ecosystem, and automating the printing + washing process.
- Consists of 2 devices: the Primeprint 3D printer itself, and the Post-Processing Unit (PPU) - a simplified, highly automated 3D printing solution
- It includes a dental intelligence software suite
- It can print surgical guides, temporary restorations, working models, splints, thermoforming models, custom impression trays, and cast builds - but resins for all these applications are not available yet.
- R&D team working on additional features and indications
- Runs on CEREC software 5.2 and InLab software version 22 - parameters required for each printable material are automatically inputted.
- Anyone using third-party CAD/CAM software can import construction data in STL format into the InLab CAM software.
- The software controls all necessary print and post-processing steps fully automated.
- The software automatically takes care of optimized orientation strategies for printing, washing, and curing.
- The building platform has three orientation modes: quality, speed, and footprint.
- The software has many features, such as automated hollowing, automated drain channel calculation, automated resin bed filling, and visualization options for supporting quality and functional areas.
- The software prepares the print file so that you can directly move on with the fast forward button and send it to Primeprint to start production.
- Primeprint comes with a Primeprint box for easy handling of printing resins and features UV light protection. You will never be in touch with unfinished resin.
- The Primeprint features a material unit that combines the wet and the material cartridge - enabling quick and easy change between different materials.
- The material unit has automated resin conditioning, automated filling and heating, lifetime monitoring, and UV protection.
- There is one validated material for each indication. Each cartridge material is color-coded - mirrored in the inLab CAM software.
- The closed and validated ecosystem ensures quality, process security, and documentation.
- After the printing process, the print job in the Primeprint box is moved to the Primeprint PPU for washing, drying, and curing.
- Inside the PPU, there are two washing containers for the prewash and final wash. To ensure no resin is left on the print object.
- Each washing container holds up to 2.5 L of washing agent - it can be isopropyl alcohol.
- Using RFID, all these devices (matrix cartridge, wash containers, Primeprint box) give feedback to the software to check control and document each process step.
- Emphasis on ease of use of the entire system - Dr. Skramstad says he taught his staff members in less than 5 mins.
- Primeprint uses digital light processing technology to ensure a predictable outcome. Resins are polymerized using UV light, and several sensors ensure the whole system works.
- Primeprint uses DLP technology - 385nm UV DLP Light engine, projecting with 70-micron pixel size.
- Build Volume = 134 x 76x 150mm (w x d x h)
- Primeprint has multiple sensors for Temperature, Humidity, Air Pressure, and Light Source Power. All to maintain quality control.
- Dentsply Sirona has taken great care to evaluate the accuracy and precision of the Primeprint.
- PPU - washing process is entirely controlled by the software, including intelligent stirring management, automated wash agent selection, and prevention of cross-contamination.
- The Light Curing Chamber heats up to 80 degrees with automated nitrogen management.
- The take-home message is that the complete automation of the process, especially the PPU makes it possible to reduce manual work. The closed system enables reproducible and accurate results.
During the event some research was also presented that was carried out by the University of Aachen that compared Primeprint models to an industrial scanner and printer.
- Research presented showed for orthodontic casts, the full arch trueness of the Primeprint when compared to a control reference was 46 microns (sample size = 10)
- The same research showed that conventionally alginate and gypsum casts resulted in 68 microns trueness. Thus, the Primeprint workflow had better results than conventional workflows.
- Tooth prep casts printed with Primeprint had a trueness of 33 microns (N = 10) compared to PVS + gypsum 69 microns.
- For occlusal devices and surgical guides, results were competitive or slightly better than results from other printers, says Prof. Dr. Sven Reich.
- The mean deviation between the planned implant and achieved implant position when using surgical guides using Primeprint was at the neck of the implant at 360 microns and the apex at 720 microns.
- Compared to other printers, the Primeprint is heavily automated and takes away a lot of the hands-on work.
- The Primeprint and PPU unit is equipped with filters to maintain a safe work environment.
- The Printer is equipped with an activated charcoal filter to ensure minimal fumes are emitted.
- The PPU unit has an activated charcoal and an ozone filter. No external suction unit is required, ensuring the surrounding air is clean.
Q&A Session summary
- Dentsply Sirona will migrate all current software onto their new platform. Connect Case Centre will remain available while the DS Core platform is built up.
- The solutions platforms and DS Care will first be available in the US and Germany, with more countries to follow shortly after.
- Print indications currently available - models, splints, surgical guides, provisional restorations. No permanent restoration resin is available now, but it is in the works.
- Q. How does Primeprint clean resin out of hollow models and resin that can build up in those models? A. Orientation and software calculate how much resin is left and where it is in the hollow part of the model. Drain channels are automatically placed appropriately by the software to allow the resin to flow out. Otherwise, any resin left may be cured.
- The Primeprint and associated software will enable you to print a guide with multiple implant sites. In the past, with milling guides, you could only do one site, so this is an improvement.
- What does DS Core Create do? It outsources the CAD design to a technician from a partner lab directly, and this is done with a minimal number of clicks.
- When will Primeprint do Full and Partial Dentures? Stay tuned is all that Dentsply Sirona speakers said.
- How fast does it print a regular model? It depends on resolution depending on the application, and it can print a high-resolution model in 30-40 minutes.
- Is a PMS bridge going to be available for DS Core? Good integration into the practice environment is on their radar. No answer when, however. There are over 250 PMS software solutions out there.
- No detailed pricing information as of yet. There was talk about a pricing model that revolves around a subscription or a payment plan - one idea is pricing that is anchored in your usage/consumption. This is something new for Dentsply Sirona, and they are considering all pricing options. The idea is to reduce the risk for the purchaser.
- The nitrogen environment for curing was mentioned - is there a need for a gas supply? This means some form of nitrogen supply is needed. There is an attachment for the Primeprint to hook up to a nitrogen tank.
- The PPU monitors alcohol usage. How often you change alcohol will depend on how much you print, and the PPO monitors this percentage and will let you know when it needs to be changed. Every material has its own separate alcohol for a splint, alcohol for a model, etc.
- How many units can one cartridge print? How much a 1 kg cartridge can print depends on the application. With Models, it would be several dozen, and surgical Guides, it can print over 100, but it depends on the size — no exact answer has been given.
- Disposal of print resin cartridges. Disposed locally with safety data sheets and can be recycled.
- Is it possible to send virtual wax-ups to DS Core Create to have them returned to print? Will it be possible? Yes. But not at the moment. The focus is individual restorations and night guards. Dentsply Sirona will eventually add more services and solutions to the platform.
- Can I use third-party resins on the Primeprint? Each resin is validated for the Primeprint, and it is not an open system. Third-party resins have not been approved but could potentially be allowed in the future.
- What is the added value of DS Core for the Patient? Easier access in the future to their cases and information the dentist may have shared with them. All the data is centralized, enabling better communication with labs, specialists, and patients.
Updated Primeprint Specifications
From our last post, we have answered some of the questions we had:
- 1Price: ~40k USD for entire package
- 2Print platform size: 134 x 76x 150mm (w x d x h)
- 3Resolution: Partial information - 70-micron pixel size
- 4Software: inLab CAD and CAM SW 22
- 5Print Speed: 30-40 min for a model on high res settings
- 6Available Resins: closed system with model, splint, surgical guide and provisional resin at this stage. No denture or permanent restoration resins at this stage.
- 7Accuracy: 46 microns for ortho casts according to the literature they presented
- 8Printer dimensions: The Primeprint: 530mm x 515mm x 670mm (W x D x H) with a weight of 41kg. Post Processing Unit: 730mm x 550mm x 680mm (W x D x H) with a weight of 45kg.
- 9Primeprint requires a nitrogen gas supply (not included).
So there you have it, some big additions to Dentsply Sirona’s product stack that will have huge ramifications on the digital dentistry world moving forward. Finally a 3D printer by the digital dentistry juggernaut.
It will be interesting to see how the market responds to this printing solution. Is it exactly what the market needed? An automated, highly validated and closed system? Or is it going to be just for die-hard CEREC fans. Time will tell.
One thing that is playing on everyone's mind, no doubt, is cost. We still have no indication of the cost of the printer, material cartridges, washing unit, washing unit tanks, etc. It will be interesting to see how Dentsply Sirona decide to price this in the market.
In the mean time, the Institute of Digital Dentistry will keep you updated on any further developments.
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