Roland DG Blog

Wet or Dry Milling Machines: Which Is Right for You?

When exploring Dental Milling Machines, one of the first things you need to understand is the various materials that can be used and the types of materials that will be in demand from your client base.

Generally, Zirconia Wax and PMMA are milled using a dry mill, however Zirconia and PMMA may also be milled using a wet mill.

A Wet Milling Machine is required when milling or grinding glass-ceramics, such as lithium disilicate, feldspathic porcelains and composite resins. Titanium is a metal that also requires wet milling, while Cobalt chromium is generally milled in a wet mill but may in certain instances be dry milled.

Dry Milling

Dry Dental Mills are typically five axis machines that are capable of manufacturing larger and more complex Dental Prostheses, utilising materials in a 98mm disk form.

These mills typically use various Carbide tools to mill restorations from Zirconia, Wax or PMMA materials. The waste materials, known as swarf, are removed from the manufacturing area via pressurised air with specialist Dust Extraction units. These extraction unit have high efficiency particle filters to ensure that clean air is maintained in the workplace, and waste is captured in large capacity bags.

Maintenance is vital in ensuring optimal operation of a dry mill. Dry mills require cleaning daily, and easy access to the waste bag is important.

DGSHAPE offers the DWX-52D and DWX-52DCi compact dental mills with all the functionality and support of larger machines in a convenient desktop design. The DWX-52D and DWX-52DCi deliver innovation and high-speed machining capabilities. They feature improved disk handling and disk management, extended material capabilities and improved tool management systems through the VPanel interface.

The DGSHAPE DWX machines require minimal air pressure and volume for easy integration into your Laboratory or Clinic.

For a complete solution, DGSHAPE’s dry milling machines are available with optional Millbox CAM Software and BOFA Dust Extraction units.

Wet Milling

Wet Dental mills are typically four-axis machines that have been designed primarily for the production of single unit and small bridges from Glass Ceramic or Hybrid Resin materials in block form. They use distilled water with additives that act as a lubricant and coolant for the tools and material. Secondary additives, often referred to as Chelating Agents, are also required in order to prevent the build-up of waste material on the inside surfaces of the milling chamber.

Wet mills require more maintenance than dry mills and need to be cleaned on a regular basis to remove the material that has collected within the mill.

When looking to purchase a wet mill, it is important to determine how easy it is to perform the regular maintenance required. Access to the coolant tank and filters is important as in most cases, these will need attention on a weekly basis.

You will also need to consider the ancillary services that may be required such as Compressed Air, and if an additional compressor will be required to service the machine.

DGSHAPE’s DWX-42W provides the ideal wet milling solution for the modern Dental Laboratory or Dental Clinic looking at manufacturing their own Premium Quality Restorations. The capability of the DWX-42W mill has recently been extended to allow for the manufacture of pre-mill Titanium Abutments for your single unit implant restorations.

The DWX-42W is designed to fit harmoniously into any Dental Laboratory or Clinic as it requires minimal compressed air and offers quiet, simple and reliable operation via USB or LAN Connectivity.

DGSHAPE’s DWX-42W is available with optional Millbox CAM Software.It integrates seamlessly into the 3Shape Design Studio Software as a “Trusted Connection” and the Exocad Chairside software, providing the user with a seamless scan, design and mill workflow.

In Summary

Introducing milling into your daily workflow has never been easier with DGSHAPE’s cost effective solutions.

If you have not yet taken the step towards incorporating in-house milling, consider your current monthly outsourcing costs for milling digital restorations. If this is greater than $1,500 per month, then your return on investment may already be covered.

If expansion of your current production capabilities is of interest, then a wet milling solution will give you the ability to provide fast turnaround, high quality glass ceramic restorations or Custom Titanium Abutments in-house with ease.

Other things to consider when looking to add a Mill to your workplace include:

  • What is the warranty of the machine?
  • How often will the machine need to be serviced?
  • Is service available locally?
  • Is a Technician required on site to perform calibrations?
  • Is the spindle covered under warranty and what is the expected lifespan of the spindle?
  • Can you replace the spindle yourself?
  • What ancillary services are required?

While there are a variety of choices when it comes to dental milling machines, if you know what you would like to achieve, the information provided here will help you to find the right milling solution for you.

Click here to take a look at DGSHAPE's full range of dental solutions.