5 Reasons to Use DATRON Dental Tools

Dental milling tools from DATRON have superior geometry and specialty coatings for better quality and tool life.

1: Unique Patented Design and Geometry of DATRON Dental Milling Tools

DATRON prides itself on having a unique approach to tooling development. Through careful guidance from RD Dental at DATRON AG, a patented design and geometry has been achieved in all DATRON Dental milling tools.  This includes specific flute cutting surfaces and the overall blend of actual cutting diameters of the dental milling tools.  DATRON has noted that forces that are exerted on the tool surfaces are controlled with specialized geometry that increases the overall precision and lifetime of the cutting tool.

Dental milling tools geometry developed by DATRON AG in Germany is a patented design and specialized for precision milling of dental indications.
Dental milling tools geometry used by DATRON is a patented design developed to deliver superior cutting quality and precision.

2: Longevity and Precision of DATRON Dental Milling Tools

DATRON’s design of the cutting surfaces for dental milling tools has allowed for a masterful blend of shapes and sizes that outperform many of today’s competitors. The precision instruments created by our team allow for longer running times in materials such as Chrome Cobalt (CoCr), Zirconia (ZrO2), PMMA, WAX, nano composite materials and Titanium.

The running times for DATRON dental milling tools, measured in meters, are proof of more units per tool.  For example, a normal (non-DATRON) set of titanium tools produces on average about 100 abutments or 10 bars. In comparison, some of our dental lab customers are seeing numbers per set of tools well in the 200+ range.

Please note the charts below showing longevity of DATRON dental milling tools is based on distance (meters).

Running Times for DATRON Dental Milling Tools:

Dental milling tools for CoCr with running times or tool life shown in distance (meters)
Dental Milling Tools for CoCr – Running Time Distance (meters)
Dental milling tools for nanocomposite have an overall running time shown here in meters (distance).
Dental Milling Tools for Nanocomposite – Running Time Distance (meters)
Dental milling tools for zirconia with running time distance in meters.
Dental Milling Tools for Zirconia – Running Time Distance (meters)
Dental milling tools for PMMA and wax have a longevity or tool life as shown here in meters (distance).
Dental Milling Tools for PMMA and Wax – Running Time Distance (meters)
Dental milling tools for titanium with running time (tool life) listed in meters or overall distance.
Dental Milling Tools for Titanium – Running Time Distance (meters)

3: Specialized Coatings for DATRON Dental Milling Tools

DATRON uses a specialized coating application for their tooling known as CVD or Chemical Vapor Deposition. The purpose of the coating is to protect the overall shape, sharpness and precision of the cutting flutes. These flutes are the surfaces which engage the material that is being cut. The Flutes are coated in diamond or diamond-like carbon material which enhances the overall life of the individual tool. However, sometimes a rounding off of flutes can occur from sub-standard CVD application. DATRON’s scientific and patented procedure has allowed for a perfect equilibrium between the chemical adhesion of the coating to the cutting surface of the tool. Please note the electron microscopic image presenting the CVD adhesion to the carbide tooling showing an exact and accurate deposit of diamonds to the carbide surface.

Dental milling tools with diamond coating applied by CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) shown in this electron microscopic
Dental milling tools with diamond coating produced with CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) shown in this electron microscopic image.


4: DATRON Dental Milling Tools for All Machine Types

DATRON AG has developed a large selection of tooling for almost all machines in the dental market today.  Thanks to the advanced engineering and development of DATRON dental milling tools, labs and milling centers can leverage DATRON’s experience to improve the quality and cut of every possible dental indication.  Through our patented tooling design, your machine can cut with DATRON precision.

Dental milling tools for most CAD CAM dental milling machines are developed by DATRON AG in Germany.
Dental milling tools for most CAD CAM systems are developed by DATRON AG using the highest grade of carbide and their patented tool geometry.


5: Excellent Price-to-Performance Ratio of DATRON Dental Milling Tools

DATRON dental milling tools are the product of our vast experience through 40 years of CNC tool manufacturing.  DATRON offers the best surface quality, depth of choice in products and the longest tool life.  We offer user-oriented guidance and service through our knowledgeable staff with dental clinical backgrounds.  We offer an excellent price to performance ratio on all of our tooling, allowing your laboratory to get more for your investment.

Please visit DATRON Dental’s online site at: www.datrondental.com

3 Signs That It’s Time for Your Dental Lab to In-Source Metal Milling

Dental lab metal milling for crowns, implant bars and abutments from titanium and chrome cobalt using a German-engineered 5-axis milling machine.


Technology that allows small to moderate sized labs to mill their own PFMs understructures, custom abutments and implant bars has matured significantly in the past few years. Not long ago, an average lab had to choose to either paying top dollar to have a large company mill these types of units, or go through the labor intensive process of casting. Today, a wide variety of milling equipment has become available which has unlocked the ability for CAD/CAM savvy labs to be more self-sufficient and profitable; however, there is still some uncertainty when it comes to when this is an appropriate and prudent step to take. In this post, we’ll focus on three key-indicators that your lab is ready to take its milling game to the next level.

1. You’re Already Scanning, Designing and Milling Soft Materials

If your lab already has built up the workflow and knowledge base to successfully operate CAD/CAM equipment for the purposes of milling zirconia, wax or PMMA – then you’re already half way there! In general, I advise against going right from having zero milling in your lab to bringing in metal milling – it’s a little akin to biting off more than you can chew. However, the process and workflow of a successful zirconia milling laboratory is very similar to that of a titanium or chrome-cobalt milling laboratory.

Dental lab milling of metals is easier to undertake if your dental lab already has a working knowledge of CAD/CAM technology and workflow.
If your dental lab already has CAD/CAM knowledge taking on metal milling will have a shorter learning curve.

It is important to note that you might not necessarily be integrating metal milling equipment with your existing CAD/CAM infrastructure. Depending on the focus of your lab and your client base, new or upgraded scanning systems and/or CAM software may be necessary to achieve desired results (for example: implant bar manufacture places different demands on the CAD/CAM system compared to crown and bridge work). The thing to keep in mind is that if your team already has a good foundation of knowledge in CAD/CAM, the learning curve for new technology will be much more manageable.

2. Your Clients are Asking for Added Value from your Lab

Ever turn work away? Or worse yet, take a case on just to realize that it’s costing you money because you have to depend heavily on outsourced work to complete it? If your clients have been asking your lab to provide additional services and they’ve been doing it for a while – you have a market in your area that is hungry for a more capable and comprehensive laboratory to meet their needs. There are many ways to quantify this potential, which is a very necessary step on the path to making a business decision. Many labs will survey their client base, either via email, snail mail survey, or with a phone outreach program. If your clients aren’t getting their milled PFM crowns and bridges or titanium bars and abutments from your lab – where are they getting them? And most importantly, would they consider using your lab for a source of these units if you were to offer this service? This approach gives you a good idea of what the initial revenue impact will be if and when you begin to market additional capabilities.

Dental lab metal milling including screw-retained and fixed restorations like titanium implant bars and custom abutments add a new stream of revenue to labs who previously only milled softer materials.
Dental lab metal milling opens up a whole new revenue stream and allows you to offer expanded services to your customers.

3. Your Monthly Cost for Outsourced Milled Units is Regularly Greater Than $6,000

A few chrome-cobalt copings here, couple of abutments there, that bar case last week, plus the full arch that you weren’t quite sure your light duty table top mill could do a good job with…. It adds up quickly doesn’t it? Sure does. If you already have CAD/CAM technology in your lab and you’re confident that your client base would send more business your way if you had the capability in house, then it’s time to brush the dust off the last 18 months of your lab’s financial records. Why? Because the first two criteria alone are not sufficient to justify an equipment purchase. In order to move forward in full confidence that you’re making the right decision for your business you need to analyze your lab’s outsourced consumption for at least the past year and a half, preferably longer. This will give you both reliable information on both how much your lab outsources in an average month, but also data on growth trends which will allow you to forecast your labs needs in the future. The more data you have, the more clarity and confidence you will have in your decision.


Dental lab metal milling of CoCr and Titanium parts like screw retained and fixed restorations such as implant bars and custom abutments offers a whole new stream of revenue.
Taking on dental lab metal milling should be based on current and projected volumes for parts like screw retained and fixed restorations.

Why are we looking at outsourced cost per month? Viewing the situation in this manner allows us to break the big question; “Will this equipment investment yield a good return?” into an easier question to answer; “Will this equipment make my business money on a monthly basis and if so, how much?”.

With the significant investment that is required to bring qualified metal milling equipment into your lab (generally from $100,000 to $300,000 or more) it is quite common for business (dental labs or otherwise) to lease the equipment instead of going with an outright purchase. In addition to making a “monthly ROI” easy to calculate, many financial advisors will tell you that leasing is the preferred method for purchasing capital equipment as it allows your business to maintain financial liquidity. Typical lease packages for manufacturing equipment will have a $1 buyout at the end of the lease period – so your manufacturing can continue uninterrupted at the end of the lease. At common rates, the monthly payment for a five year lease on a quality piece of milling equipment that is robust enough to handle regular milling in titanium or chrome-cobalt will range anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 per month. With this in mind, a lab that consistently outsources $6,000 per month will see a return on investment in just over 2 years.

Many labs put off the decision on whether or not to adopt titanium or chrome-cobalt milling capabilities out of a fear that it’s too complicated or too costly, and for some labs it is. But when emotions are removed from the equation and the situation is reviewed logically, lab owners are often surprised at how easy and beneficial of a decision it can be.

Download Brochure detailing a Business-in-a-Box solution that delivers an all-inclusive CAD/CAM production center for screw-retained & fixed restorations.

Precision Dental Milling Tool Holders for Milling Titanium Implants

Precision dental milling tool holder designed to reduce runout making it ideal for milling titanium implant bars and custom abutments.

Dental milling tool holders that improve the fit and finish of milled restorations like titanium implant bars and custom abutments through reduced runout and better concentricity.

The Dental Lab Network is an online community where I’m often pulled into discussions regarding titanium implant milling using medium duty, dental-specific machinery. There was recently a thread where lab owners were inquiring about the accuracy of lighter weight benchtop models.  Here is my response:

Just a few clarifications regarding the misconceptions I commonly hear within the dental industry related to milling titanium implant parts … some of which have popped up in this thread.

First of all, it’s important to note that a milling machine’s ability to cut titanium does not mean that same machine has the ability to produce implant parts. Implant geometries require a much higher level of precision and accuracy than crown and bridge applications. A couple factors (among many) that play an important role in milling implant bars and abutments successfully in titanium are machine rigidity and consistency at the tip of the tool (known as tool runout or concentricity). From my experience, a 5 micron dimensional adjustment to an implant hex has a significant enough effect between a part that fits and one that doesn’t. So if the tool’s tip is “wobbling” at 10+ microns, which can be the case in a direct shank tool-holding spindle, you’re not going to get accurate enough parts from your machine.

This is why we use Schunk Tribos HSK holders to secure the tool inside the spindle, yielding a tool concentricity of about 2 microns or less.  This increases spindle life (spindle bearings hate vibrations), increases tool life, and most importantly … ensures the accuracy of the final milled part. 

Precision dental milling tool holders for improved fit and finish when milling custom titanium abutments and implant bars.
Precision dental milling tool holders called Tribos open to a circle when inserting tools and then close to a polygon to clamp them.

This is one of MANY machine attributes to keep in mind when you’re making the jump from simply milling titanium (as a preform or for crown and bridge applications) to complete titanium abutments and bars.

Dental milling tool holder for precision clamping of tools that reduces runout and maximizes precision when milling titanium implant bars and custom abutments
Dental milling tool holder that yields minimized runout for precision titanium implant milling.

In the dental market, the D5 Dental Mill is on the only machine that utilizes this tool clamping technology.  It goes to show how important DATRON’s industrial CNC experience plays a positive role in creating an easy-to-use system that still has features which increase a dental lab’s ability to produce highly precise implant parts in titanium.

Thanks for reading and happy milling!

Milling Titanium Parts for Dental Implants: What Kind of Spindle Do I Need?

Titanium Dental Implant Milling Machine Spindle

Titanium Dental Implant Milling Machine SpindleThe Dental Lab Network is an online community where I’m often asked about the DATRON D5 Dental Milling Machine’s features and how they compare to other machines on the market. Recently, a lab that’s interested in milling titanium parts for dental implants had raised the following question about the D5’s spindle power:

“Isn’t the spindle power of the D5 (1.8 kW) too low compared to the 5kw spindles on similar level mills?”

I’m glad this question was asked for a couple reasons:

  1. Different manufacturers have different ways of identifying a spindle’s power rating, and
  2. Aside from power ratings, there are better ways to determine which spindle is appropriate for a certain application.

Here was my response:

Some spindle companies use maximum power to describe or identify their products. Others, like Jager, use continuous power. The liquid-cooled Jager spindle in the DATRON D5 Dental Mill, equipped with HSK-25 collets, has a 1.8 kW continuous power rating and a 5 kW maximum power rating. So, it’s no less powerful than the other mills. It’s just described differently.

However, what’s much more important than spindle power is the actual performance relative to your specific application — in this case, milling titanium parts for dental implants. I’ve never seen the power consumption of the D5 spindle exceed 24% while milling titanium bars or custom abutments. In fact, it usually hovers around 14-16%.

Another indication that a spindle is properly (or improperly) spec’d for a particular application is its bearing wear. There’s a vibration measurement device we use whenever performing preventative maintenance on any of our machines (dental or industrial) that indicates the level of wear on a machine’s spindle bearings. For example, we have a customer with over 9,500 hours on their 1.8kW D5 spindle that ONLY mills titanium parts for dental implants at their facility.  The last test on their spindle revealed a wear amount that was almost negligible… after 9500 hours! That’s almost 5X the manufacturer’s warranty period.

A contributing factor to our customers’ success with the DATRON D5’s 1.8kW spindle, as described in the example above, is the extensive amount of development and collaboration with do our CAM partners to create a database of milling templates for titanium implant bars and custom abutments. They are designed to carefully balance total milling time and tool wear so that titanium dental implant parts are milled within a reasonable time frame without putting an excessive amount of wear on the machine components or milling tools. With over 100 DATRON D5 Dental Milling Machines being used by labs worldwide, we’re able to pull from an extremely large pool of data and customer experience to further enhance the efficiently and effectiveness of our machines and their specific components.