Lucideon Helps Dental Crown Manufacturer Fix Processing Problems

Introduction

Dental devices, as with all medical devices, need to be as robust as possible while still being able to perform their function.  This can often mean complex multi-stage manufacturing routes where getting each and every stage right is important.  Also important is the quality of the materials that are being put into the process; if there is a problem with the materials or process procedures then there is a risk that the end product quality could be compromised.

The Challenge

Our client, a dental crown manufacturer, approached Lucideon to understand why they were experiencing periodic issues with the quality of crowns machined from pressed inorganic powder blanks. Whilst these issues appeared to be visually evident during machining, there are potentially disastrous consequences in terms of non-detection leading to poor mechanical properties and so premature failure of fitted crowns.  The client therefore required a fast and effective response to ensure that they did not lose more time than necessary in production.

What We Delivered

Lucideon began by engaging with all parties along the supply chain (powder supplier; pressed blank disc producers and the client who machined from the blank). Using our manufacturing expertise our team were able to identify the key variables likely to impact on final product performance. Lucideon then suggested a series of experiments in which the effect of each variable was investigated. This ultimately led to a recommendation that focussed on optimising raw material particle size (for flow and packing) and the rate of pressure build up / hold at peak pressure. In addition, this collaborative effort led to changes being made to the frequency and type of strength testing employed after blank pressing. This provided further QC assurance.

Value to the Client

  • Enhanced understanding of buyer/supplier pressures along the supply chain
  • Less time spent on unnecessary machining of multiple crowns to generate one good bespoke item
  • The client has greater confidence in the longevity of the sintered crowns produced. This translates into satisfied customers and less time dedicated to rectifying failed crowns and fighting possible litigation

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