exocad GmbH - exocad Insights 2020

exocad Insights 2020: Annual event for manufacturers and users of dental CAD/CAM technologies with around 1600 online participants and 300 participants on-site

Digital dentistry on an open software platform
On September 21 and 22, 2020, exocad Insights took place for the second time. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held in a hybrid format. Around 300 dental technicians and dentists visited the darmstadtium international congress center in Darmstadt, Germany, to participate in lectures and the exhibition with 41 partner companies. The in-person event was possible thanks to strict compliance with the federal state rules for social distancing and hygiene. Around 1600 further users of digital technologies in laboratories and practices from 55 countries joined exocad Insights 2020 via a live video stream. 

On 21 and 22 September, exocad Insights 2020 took place as a global hybrid event. About 300 participants attended the international congress center darmstadtium in Darmstadt. Safety of all attendees was top priority, and the health authority guidelines (Hessen/Germany) were followed at all times.

“The hybrid event format enabled us to reach far more users than would have been possible with solely an in-person event,” reported a delighted Tillmann Steinbrecher, co-founder and CEO of exocad, in summarizing the success of the event. Novica Savic, CCO at exocad and moderator of Insights 2020, added: “We at exocad are convinced that there is a solution to every problem. In a creative process, we reinvented Insights 2020 as a hybrid event.” The idea was to make the on-site event accessible on a virtual platform to all those who were unable to travel at the time. The on-site and online experiences supplemented each other, with comments, questions and selfies from laboratories, practices and the living rooms of the online participants regularly being displayed and integrated into the event.

Internationally renowned digital experts, some of whom have been using exocad since day one, presented the opportunities of digital dentistry that the open exocad software architecture offers. The highlights of the diverse program included the world premiere of the upcoming DentalCAD and exoplan release Galway 3.0 as well as the presentation of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award 2020. Just a few weeks ago, ChairsideCAD received this renowned award for the second year running. ChairsideCAD is the first CAD software to receive this award.

41 partner companies took the opportunity at exocad Insights 2020 to present new materials as well as hardware for scanning, milling and 3D printing. Thanks to cutting-edge digital communication technology, the online participants were able to visit the booths virtually. Serena Santoro, Sales Manager EMEA at exocad, went on a tour of the exhibition grounds with a camera team, providing viewers with an alternative live stream. On stage, Tillmann Steinbrecher thanked the partners for their commitment and trust in Insights 2020.

exocad has supported the “Overland for Smile” charity for several years now, with the proceeds from a T-shirt campaign being donated to the charity this year. Purple T-shirts with the slogans “JUST CAD IT” and “arCADe champion” were designed specifically for Insights 2020, with exocad employees selling these shirts to the visitors on site. smart optics also organized a charity auction, raising EUR 14,700 for Doctors Without Borders in the process.

A strict hygiene and social distancing concept was put in place at the darmstadtium congress center in order to ensure adherence to the regulations imposed by the federal state of Hesse and the German federal government. Thermal scanners installed at the entrances to the congress center were used to measure the visitors’ body temperatures, and all participants were issued a social distancing bracelet that warned them when the distance to other participants was less than 1.5 meters.

“A decade of digital innovation” 
To start the event, Tillmann Steinbrecher told the story of exocad, describing the period between 2010 and 2020 as “a decade of digital innovation.” Maik Gerth, CTO at exocad, and Steinbrecher first met during a joint research and development project on “CAD/CAM in dentistry“ at the Fraunhofer Institute IGD in Darmstadt. Their vision was to create an easy-to-use CAD software for dental technicians, and the first version of DentalCAD was completed in 2009. In 2010, the pair then founded exocad. Today, exocad is the world’s leading OEM manufacturer of dental CAD software with over 37,000 installations in more than 150 countries around the world.

Looking forward to Galway 3.0 
This introduction was followed by a global premiere of a new product. Michael Kohnen, Global Application Support Manager at exocad, unveiled Galway 3.0, the upcoming DentalCAD and exoplan release with a new user interface inspired by Google Material Design. DentalCAD and exoplan are now even more intuitive, while functionality and speed have both been improved. Kohnen presented many of the brand-new software features.

Aesthetics with Smile Creator
Waldo Zarco Nosti is a dental technician and passionate DentalCAD user from Spain. He creates realistic and highly aesthetic restorations using Smile Creator. He begins his process with the precise aesthetic analysis of his patients, using a digital workflow to unlock completely new options. Two-dimensional portraits of the patients are uploaded to Smile Creator together with an intraoral scan, creating a virtual patient in the laboratory. With the Galway 3.0 release, Smile Creator automatically recognizes eye position and lips, simplifying the aesthetic analysis. One of the new features is the ability to use Smile Design to create a mock-up, enabling the patients to see their new smile not only on a display, but directly in the mouth with a type of “snap-on.” This allows them to see the result directly in the mirror and offers dental practitioners new options when it comes to patient consultation.

Guided implantology and immediate treatment with live surgery
Uli Hauschild is a dental technician and expert of navigated implantology from Italy. Together with Dr. Michael Berthold from Germany, he presented patient “Patrick.” While Hauschild explained Patrick’s case on stage, Dr. Berthold began the surgical procedure on the patient. The operation was streamed live to the darmstadtium congress center from the Carolinum Plus dental care center at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. The patient received eight progressive-line implants (BioHorizons Camlog) in his edentulous upper arch, which were immediately treated with an eggshell temporary. 

Hauschild presented the planning approach for the procedure, which included diagnostics, digital data recording, aesthetic planning with Smile Creator, virtual planning of implant positions using exoplan and prosthetics design using DentalCAD. Dr. Berthold commented on the surgical steps: extraction of the teeth that cannot be retained, placement of the surgical guide, drill protocol and guided implant insertion, up to the immediate insertion of the prefabricated, custom temporary. Dr. Berthold and Hauschild treated the complex case in a consistent workflow on exocad’s open software platform. 

Single-visit dentistry
What can a dentist do with exocad in practice? At Dr. Michael Scherer’s practice in the USA, the digital workflow is integrated with an intraoral scanner (IOS), a 3D printer and a milling machine. In his practice laboratory, Dr. Scherer uses the entire portfolio of the DentalCAD lab software to create large-scale prosthetic restorations. For smaller cases, he uses ChairsideCAD, particularly for patients who prefer higher-quality treatment rather than a direct filling. Designing such restorations using ChairsideCAD and producing the prosthetic in the practice in just one session has become part of his everyday work. In his view, the main advantages of the chairside workflow include the predictability of the results and the higher patient satisfaction compared to direct fillings. 

Curiosity as a success factor
In his keynote speech at the end of the first day of Insights 2020, business psychologist Dr. Carl Naughton from Germany presented study results showing that curious people are more successful, have more friends, and experience more joy later in life. According to the study, the reason for this is that curious people ask more questions, thereby showing real interest, and they also find it easier to tackle new challenges, such as the digital workflow.

Efficiency in practice
In the clinical session on the second day of Insights 2020, Dr. Gulshan Murgai from England provided detailed insight on his digital workflow, from data recording using the iTero intraoral scanner (IOS), to designing using ChairsideCAD, up to manufacturing using a milling machine or 3D printer. He showed his approach in real-time using example cases from his practice. He also gave many tips and tricks for designing crowns and the subsequent virtual implant placement using exoplan. Dr. Murgai likes using ChairsideCAD and exoplan because of the open software platform and the associated ability to select hardware irrespective of the manufacturer.

Working efficiently means working digitally – this was the take-away message from Dr. Michael DiTolla from the USA, who showcased his entertainment skills during his presentation. In a humorous manner, he showed examples of extremely poor analog scans, before highlighting the benefits of digital intraoral scanning. IOS enables precise, high-quality scans to be captured in very little time, thus being a perfect example of efficient working, according to DiTolla. In addition, the precise scanning also increases the quality of the restoration. His most important message was that close collaboration with the dental technicians has made him a better dentist.

Tips and tricks in the partner and exocad sessions 
In 11 partner sessions, both online and on-site participants received practical impetus from renowned speakers on how to integrate digital technologies in the laboratory and practice, as well as on how to design digital workflows. The focus was on integrating intraoral scanners, milling machines and 3D printers. 

Together with exocad software experts, the users were able to deep-dive into the software applications during the lab sessions. They received many tips, for example on the use of the DentalCAD Bar Module, PartialCAD, the Full Denture Module and the Implant Module. Based on an example case, the software experts highlighted the simplicity with which a seamless workflow can be implemented across different modules on the exocad software platform. This also applies to exoplan with Guide Creator for the planning of surgical guides and the subsequent prosthetic design using DentalCAD.

Summary: With almost 2000 participants on-site and online, seven international guest speakers and a large exhibition with 41 partner companies, exocad Insights 2020 was a successful global event for CAD/CAM manufacturers and users of digital technologies in laboratories and practices.

Author: Eva-Maria Hübner, Pulheim/Germany






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