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

The 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 and dental milling tools 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.

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