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Since adopting a digital workflow, German Versteeg's dental laboratory, DTL Mediaan, has significantly reduced its labour costs while increasing the speed at which dentures and other dental products are manufactured. (Image: 3Shape)

Interview: “Go fully digital and start implementing it immediately”

By 3Shape
March 02, 2020

Germen Versteeg is the founder of DTL Mediaan, a dental laboratory in Heerhugowaard in the Netherlands. In this interview, he talks about the advantages of having adopted a digital workflow in his laboratory and the advice he has for other laboratories who are planning to do the same.

Mr Versteeg, could you tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a denturist and the owner of DTL Mediaan. We work with a team of eight dental technicians, and as a completely digital dental lab, we provide all kinds of services—implant cases, dental crowns and bridges, dentures, orthodontic solutions, and more.

Do you find that a digital workflow saves time compared with an analogue workflow?
Yes, it can take a lot of time to produce something with an analogue workflow. For example, it would take up to one whole working day to produce a set of dentures from beginning to end. Since going digital, we have saved a lot of time and can now make a set of dentures in 2–2.5 hours.

We can achieve a really high standard of quality because of the accuracy of 3Shape’s scanners. At every step of the workflow, we can refer to the design or the manufacturing process, and we can reproduce or conduct a correction for any case.

What percentage of your cases use intra-oral scans?
About 30–40% of our cases involve intra-oral scans, which is also a big benefit of working digitally.

What has your experience using the 3Shape Dental System been like?
Our experience with the 3Shape Dental System has been really great. There are a lot of automated and guided workflows in the software, but you also have the possibility of being creative in your approach. For example, we can use a 2D or 3D image in the software for the design in such a way that we are able to copy the patient’s dentition and transfer it to the dentures.

When you become familiar with the system and get to know the ideas behind it, you will be amazed at what you can do with this powerful software.

Has going digital led to an increase in productivity for DTL Mediaan?
Yes, we really are more productive. Our labour costs were around 50% of our total costs when we were an analogue-focused lab. Now, thanks to the 3Shape Dental System, our labour costs have dropped down to 20% of our total costs.

What advice do you have for dental labs planning to go digital?
My advice for dental labs that want to begin working according to a digital workflow is that they should go fully digital and start implementing it immediately.

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