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Survey on the use of CAD-CAM technology by UK and Irish dental technicians

Blackwell, E; Nesbit, M; Petridis, H; (2017) Survey on the use of CAD-CAM technology by UK and Irish dental technicians. British Dental Journal , 222 (9) pp. 689-693. 10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.407. Green open access

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Statement of the problem Digital workflows (CAD/CAM) have been introduced in dentistry during recent years. No published information exists on dental technicians' use and reporting of this technology.Purpose The aim of this cross sectional survey was to identify the extent digital technology has infiltrated the workplace and to investigate the factors affecting the use of CAD-CAM technology by dental laboratory technicians within Ireland and the UK.Materials and methods A web-based questionnaire was composed (Opinio, Object Planet Inc. Oslo, Norway) and distributed to UK and Irish dental technicians. Answers to all questions were anonymous and grouped such that general information was gathered initially, followed by branching of the survey into two sections depending on whether or not the respondent worked with CAD-CAM technology. Results were compiled and statistical analysis (Fisher's Exact test, SPSS, IBM, Armonk, New York, USA) was performed in order to investigate any correlation between various demographic variables and the answers provided.Results The survey was distributed to 760 UK technicians and 77 Irish technicians. The total number of completed surveys was 105, which yielded a total response rate of 14%. Most technicians reported using some form of CAD/CAM aspect in the workflow, and this was more significant for technicians working in large laboratories. Most training received was company-led. Large laboratories were also significantly correlated with less outsourcing of CAD/CAM work and a change in dental material use leading to the increase of zirconia and the decrease of noble alloys. Dental technicians did not report any significant change in working relationships and staffing as a result of CAD/CAM incorporation. High initial investment cost was the most common reason quoted from non-users, along with the lack of such technology in their working environment.

Type: Article
Title: Survey on the use of CAD-CAM technology by UK and Irish dental technicians
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.407
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.407
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1556379
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