Fully digital design for natural-looking results

1 April 2021 Categories: digital dentistry Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This case perfectly portrays a fully digital case and the difference the result can make to a patient’s overall appearance.

This lovely gentleman visited Dr Drew Winstanley wanting to improve the general appearance of his smile. He was unhappy with the brown and discoloured look of his teeth and had been left dissatisfied with the multiple failed attempts by previous practitioners to mask the tooth wear.

Not only is Dr Drew a relatively new client of ours, so was this patient for the practice, so we really needed to pull out all the stops… and we always do!

We started with a digital smile design using 3Shape Dental Designer, which allowed us to show both the dentist and the patient the proposed new smile digitally in 3D by superimposing it over the patient’s existing dentition. This allows an honest and open dialogue to happen between the patient, dentist and us at the lab, meaning that we can make any tweaks and adjustments as required, before any dental work was started or before any tooth structure was cut. This is key for us at Ambridge Ceramics as we believe in building strong relationships with our clients in order to deliver beautiful, functional restorations, every time.

In order to correct the bite and aesthetics of this smile, we created 11 digitally designed and milled porcelain veneers and crowns. For this specific case, two different materials were used: e.max CAD (purple block) and Zirconia Anterior Multi-Layer. Both have different refractive indices and therefore reflect light (shade) in different ways, so there’s always a potential for the end result to appear a different shade when finished or worse, when fitted.

At Ambridge Ceramics, we have found via experimentation, which zirconia works best with which lithium disilicate system (e.max) and how to treat them to enable a shade match with the final restorations.

As you can see from the final outcome, the result was harmonious and natural looking, while being strong and functional. Both Dr Drew and his patient were thrilled with the result.


So you’ve invested in an Intra-Oral Scanner, now what… Top 10 tips to consider when choosing a Digital Dental Laboratory

6 November 2018 Categories: digital lab

Originally posted – 9 October 2018

1. Can the lab accept files from your specific intra-oral scanner?
Not all I/O Scanners put out raw files; Stereo Lithographic files (STLs.) Many systems are coded so are to be accessible by their own design software. It is best to choose a digital laboratory that invests in a wide variety of CAD (digital design systems) to ensure they are able to accept files from all intra-oral scanners.

2. What is the lab’s experience with digital technology?
Does the laboratory have recognised experience of using digital technology and are they able to advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of the different techniques available? Laboratories that were early adopters of Digital Dentistry have experienced the many challenges early technology threw at them and through learning, perseverance and working closely with dentists and dental companies they have been able to advance the technology collaboratively.

3. How easy is it to communicate with the lab?
Are you able to not only pick up the phone and email your chosen lab, but be able to communicate with them in new and innovative ways to deliver the best results for your patients? Leading labs are now receiving video and FaceTime calls from dentists and patients so they are now able to fully see the smile of patients whilst they talk, laugh and be natural. Video can be frozen and assessed so their smile can be seen from a different perspective.

4. Can the lab help you in the selection of the right materials?
Dentists keep up-to-date with dentistry. Lab technicians keep up-to-date with dental materials and technology. If, as a dentist you are open to being educated, your lab should be able to advise you of the best materials to use for your restorative work. Because lab’s work on so many different cases, this knowledge can easily be passed on to willing dentists.

5. How involved is the lab in education?
Lab technicians who attend courses to maintain their learning or even educate others through lectures, workshops and seminars are likely to be able to deliver the best restorations and advice to their dentists. With a shortage of technicians due to more leaving the industry than entering, it is very much down to the laboratories to select courses and educate the technicians to best serve the business.

6. Is the experience of the staff wide and varied?
Despite the introduction of digital technology and automated systems, nature is still difficult thing to reproduce which, consequently means a dental laboratory still needs to ensure the skills of its staff are not lost. Teeth still need to look natural, so the artistry required by highly skilled ceramists to deliver a single tooth restoration to a complex smile makeover for example, still needs to be there.

7. Can the lab fulfil all of the needs of your patients?
Not all labs are set up to deliver every treatment provided by the dental practice. For instance, is your lab known to deliver implant supported restorations, high-end aesthetics, smile makeovers as well as traditional crown and bridge work? As you grow and develop your practice, you want one lab that can support you through this journey.

8. How do they keep up-to-date with the latest technology?
A lab’s experience and close working relationship with dental companies, means they are able to keep abreast of the latest technologies and enable them to become ‘Experts’ in helping dentist make the right investment for their practice.

9. How forward thinking are they?
There are many forums and social media platforms that dentists use to seek advice from dental technicians. Is your technician active across these platforms providing advice and industry knowledge to dental professionals?

And last but not least….

10. Has the lab ever been recognised for any of their work?
Every year dental laboratories and dental technicians are recognised for the work they have delivered with a variety of industry awards. These are given to dentists, technicians & laboratories for the expertise they demonstrated when working closely together with the patient to deliver outstanding aesthetics from single tooth restorations all the way through to highly complex cases.

For more information about how Ambridge Ceramics can help support you in delivering high quality aesthetic restorations and smile makeovers, please contact our team on: 01765 607347 or email: info@ambridgeceramics.com.

Straumann Charity Bike Ride 2018

6 November 2018 Categories: Straumann Charity Bike Ride

Originally posted – 24 July 2018

Straumann Charity Bike Ride 2018

As a keen cyclist I’ve always wanted to enter a multi-day, long distance event but never really had the chance until now. With thanks to Straumann UK, the organisers of the 500 Miles in 5 Days Bike Ride beginning in Lake Garda and finishing in Rome. Taking place from the 19th-23rd of September 2018- I will be one of the 70 plus riders who are all raising money for the Mouth Cancer Foundation. Starumann’s Charity Bike Ride is now in its fourth season and is bigger than ever.

100% of the donations go to the Mouth Cancer Foundation

Having previously raised £150,000, this year their chosen charity is the ‘Mouth Cancer Foundation’ www.mouthcancerfoundation.org which is relevant to me as a good friend of mine diagnosed a close friend of theirs with early stage mouth cancer, which was caught in time and removed enabling their friend to make a full recovery. Your sponsorship of my forthcoming epic ride will make the 30,000 feet of climbing and training over the summer all worth it- as well as supporting a great charity.
Please donate here

The SmartGuideSystem

6 November 2018 Categories: Uncategorized

Originally posted  – 14 July 2018

What is the Smart Guide System (SGS)? 

Download the manual here:

SmartGuidSystems PDF

The SGS consists of a digitally planned and designed, 3D printed, implant surgical guide complete with a CADCAM, PMMA multilayer shaded, screw-retained provisional crown or healing abutment.

Why use the Smart Guide System?

The SGS can save you time by reducing the appointments needed when restoring with implants, as you can place a provisional on the day of surgery. Using SGS will help condition the tissue around the implant site into an ideal gingival shape for the definitive restoration.

How does it work?

  1. You send the patient for a CT scan, STL, or impression.
  2. Send the information into Ambridge Ceramics. Call us now and we will collect.
  3. We will design both the surgical guide and the screw-retained restoration.
  4. You check and adjust the design on Blue Sky Plan (we’ll show you how).
  5. Five days later you have a guide and restoration and/or healing abutment to fit on the day of surgery.
  • Blue Sky Plan is treatment planning software for computer-guided surgery, developed and distributed by Blue Sky Bio. Ambridge Ceramics is the only UK authorised laboratory or the production of guides through Blue Sky Plan.

We’re Hiring-Vacancy for a Highly Skilled Ceramist

6 November 2018 Categories: Job Vacancy

Originally posted – 5 July 2018

Are you looking to further your dental technology career working with an award-winning dental laboratory?

Based in North Yorkshire, Ambridge Ceramics is an Award-Winning Dental Laboratory set in beautiful parkland boasting its own tennis court. Established for 32 years, Ambridge Ceramics is a digital laboratory with a strong focus on high quality traditional laboratory techniques promoting a collaborative approach between the two departments.

Are you hungry to use Digital Design Platforms?

As the most technically advanced dental laboratory in the north, we are looking for a highly skilled ceramist to join our passionate and busy team with a strong desire to further their career in dental technology. Applicants should be able to demonstrate exceptional skills in all areas of ceramics and composites, possess a good working knowledge of aesthetics and occlusion and wish to advance their learning through educational courses.

Are you fed up with working in a hot, small room with no personal space?

Working in a modern, clean and spacious laboratory, this is a fantastic opportunity to be working with some of the country’s top implant and aesthetic dental surgeons which has led us to be awarded “Implant Multiple Winner” (2018 Aesthetic Dentistry Awards), “Best Private Dental Laboratory” (2016 Lab Awards), and “2013 Aesthetic Dentistry Awards Winner”.

For the right candidate, we offer an attractive package.

If you believe this is the right role for you, apply now by emailing your CV to:


A photo portfolio is desirable but not essential on application.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Introducing Week 1 of our Tips from the Techs to help dentists in their every day work

6 November 2018 Categories: Tips from the Techs

Originally posted – 29 March 2018

Our first is by Lee Nichols, one of our Dental Technicians

How to get more accuracy with your impression taking for dental implants:

Always block out/ fill the screw access hole on custom or stock implant abutments prior to taking a digital or conventional impression. This provides an impression that can be printed or cast with more accuracy, predictability and success. This is why at Ambridge Ceramics we always supply an implant abutment with a temporary crown or bridge AND a metal coping or bridge frame for picking up in an impression, This helps to avoid inaccuracies in abutment replication when taking the impression. Give it a try.

Spotlight on Ollie Ambridge

6 November 2018 Categories: Spotlight

Originally posted – 20 March 2018

Ollie studied to become an RDT at Leeds Dental Institute graduating in 2015.  Currently the services Ambridge Ceramics provides are 50% digital and 50% analogue. Within 10 years, Oliver sees this changing to 90% digital and only 10% analogue because of the benefits it brings to both patient and dentist in terms of the final aesthetics, fit and speed of turn around.

Moving to wards the digital workflow

Oliver says, ‘‘the team at Ambridge Ceramics are highly skilled traditional technicians first, but we’ve branched out to the digital work flow by continually going on training courses and working closely with the leading digital lab companies’’. He goes on to say that ‘’3D milling will continue to grow and will require the team to be highly skilled in digital software to ensure our dentists patients get something that is fully functional, aesthetic and achievable’’.

Supporting dentists in their move towards digital

In terms of the future, Oliver wants to continue to help the market switch over to the digital workflow by supporting dentists in individual patient cases and continually to educate them in the changes in the market and ways of working. He understand that this is a real challenge for busy dentists, so wants to make it easier for them to learn through online courses and lectures Ambridge Ceramics put on.

How using a fully digital workflow helps to deliver predictable results, superior aesthetics and delighted patients [Part 1]

6 November 2018 Categories: digital dentistry digital lab digital smile design digital workflow teeth-in-a-day

Originally posted – 14 December 2017

Our client Sinead McEnhill BDS MSc (Imp Dent) MFGDP ADV DIP IMP DENT RCS (ENG) and director of Belmore Dental Implant Clinic had a 64-year-old patient who was having difficulty wearing his dentures and finding eating and speech a particular problem as his dentures were constantly moving. Also as he was due to retire, he wanted to do something to secure his future quality of life and felt strongly that his smile was something he should be more confident with.

This patient had 12 teeth remaining, all in various states of active decay. All teeth were asymptomatic, but he was embarrassed that his smile was ugly, his dentures were moving on chewing, and his ability to function and speak were greatly diminished.

His main hope at consultation was that it wasn’t too late to have implants placed and that his years of neglect wouldn’t have undermined his chances of being a suitable candidate. Using the digital workflow helped speed up the ability to get the go ahead with the treatment as the dentist and patient worked virtually with the dental lab.

The use of mainstream, everyday digital technology in treatment planning

Smartphones can be used as part of treatment planning as long as digital smile design protocol is followed. Photos of a retracted smile, full facial smile and in this case videos, are useful to a digital laboratory technician to capture important information such as dynamic smile and accurately chart the lips, smile, tooth position, buccal corridors in association with the eyes and the midline of the face. (DSD or presentation software can be used or 3Shape if you aren’t doing the full DSD protocol) DSLR images were also taken.

How Digital Smile Design helps dentists show their patients how they will look after treatment

DSLR images, CBCT and intraoral scans at this point can be sent to your digital laboratory, in this case Ambridge Ceramics. To help the dentist show both graphically and aesthetically how their patient could look post-treatment, we designed a new, highly aesthetic and achievable smile using the digital smile design principles and proportions. This is then sent back to our client via WeTransfer securely in a presentation format of choice. Our clients can then show their patients the presentation of how they could look post-treatment which really helps in treatment uptake.

In this case, and with the help of the key visuals from the digital smile design, it was decided to go with the ‘teeth in a day’ protocol – the first in the UK to be completed with Camlogs’ Conelog Implants.

How the different digital technologies are layered to provide precision and aesthetics

To allow for implant planning both CBCT and intraoral STL. scans were taken and transferred to the lab to show the upper and lower hard and soft tissues. These different files allow us as a digital laboratory to build a multi-layered picture of the patient as they present before surgery enabling us to plan the best treatment outcome possible.
This is done through:

  1. Photos and videos of the patient as they present before surgery.
  2. Obtaining information of the underlying bone and of the existing teeth in the maxilla and mandible through CBCT (3D X-ray)
  3. An STL scan of the mouth or an existing model is taken to show current hard and soft tissues.
  4. Images of how the patient will look post surgery created using Digital Smile Design protocol (DSD)
  5. This helps the implant dentist and laboratory determine the ideal placement of the implants

With this information we then planned the optimum implant fixture placement from a purely aesthetic point of view, while at the same time collaborated with the dentist to choose the ideal osteomy/implant placement sites. With all this agreed, we then have all the information required for the planning, virtual extractions, designing and printing of the implant surgical guides.

The Increasing Popularity of Dental Implants

11 September 2017 Categories: Uncategorized Tagged with:

As a dentist, you’re sure to know that there are trends in regards to which dental procedures are popular; these are often linked to what the top of the range treatment is at the time and the possible outcome for the patient. There’s always been a focus on achieving the perfect smile and having great teeth but in recent years this has become more evident than ever, causing many individuals to really consider which dental treatment will leave them with the very best smile. For many, the answer is dental implants ; click this link to use this information to give to your patients about their benefits.

Why Are Dental Implants The Gold Standard For Missing Teeth?

Dentures to replace missing teeth is a common procedure that many dentists discuss as the first option for missing teeth. However, the gold standard for reaplacing mssing teeth is dental implants which is the best long-term solution as high lighted by the Oral Health Foundation. Imagine you were talking to a member of your family – would you offer an impant retained denture first or a removable denture? When talking with your patients, offer them the best solution first explaining they are a fixed, long-term solution that look just like their natural teeth. No longer will they have to worry about covering their mouth when they smile, chewing whislt eating or removing them at night time. Their life will literally change for the better giving them the confidence they’ve always wanted.

Dental implants are created using strong, durable and resilient materials and this makes them a long-lasting solution. Plus, they look real and it’s hard to distinguish between real teeth and those that are implants; this wasn’t always the case.

Dental Implant Technology

The technology available to dentists now is impressive and it’s easier than ever to provide patients with the very best in professional dental care; this extends from offering quick and easy check ups to high quality dental implants. Technology allows you, as a dentist, to work together with a patient to create the ideal smile and both of you are able to give an input into what you feel looks best.

At Ambridge Ceramics we have a many years of experience in working with dental implants and we work with many different dentists, helping them to provide the highest quality of dental care to their patients. As we work across all platforms and manufacturers, our services are vast and we can work on the most complex of cases. For us, it’s about finding an effective solution in a cost effective way. Get in touch today on 01765 607 347 or online to find out more.


What Is Digital Smile Design (DSD)?

25 August 2017 Categories: Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

Digital Smile Design is the latest in technological advances for the dental industry and it’s already helping dentists around the world to provide their patients with an extra level of care, confidence and professionalism when disucssing complex treatment plans such as Smile Make Overs with their patients.

Digital Smile Design – also known simply as DSD – involves a series of digital photographs taken of a patient’s teeth, face and smile then uses them to highlight the potential results a treatment can have. By using a patient’s very own teeth, smile, gums and lips, DSD helps dentists to achieve lifelike results. DSD takes into account a patient’s specific features to determine the aesthetic changes possible. These high quality images allow dentists and dental professionals to make changes visually to show to others when designing a smile or treatment. Not only does this highlight to a patient the potential changes that could be made, but it’s a great assistance tool for dentists who are keen to ensure they provide the most natural looking improvement they can.


The Benefits of DSD for Dentists and Dental Practices

One of DSD’s top benefits is the way that it connects with patients, allowing them to easily see what the end result of a treatment or procedure will look like. This is one of the best ways to boost confidence and it puts their minds at ease; It’s nerve wracking to have a big change cosmetically, but DSD images give a clear representation of what type of smile they can expect. However, some of the biggest benefits of using DSD are actually experienced by dentists themselves. For example:

  • DSD Helps Dentists and Dental Technicians to Create a Visual Reference for Patients

When it comes to giving patients their new teeth and smile, it’s easy for dentists to imagine the end result. After all, with years of experience and an expert eye, dentists are able to asses a set of teeth and imagine how they will look after undergoing a specific treatment. However, this isn’t always the case for patients. After having the same set of teeth for many years, it can be a struggle for patients to picture what their mouth and smile will look like once they have undergone treatment. This is where DSD comes in. Dentists can use DSD as a point of reference.

  • DSD Helps Dentists to Explain Treatments and Procedures

DSD helps dentists to explain how a certain treatment will look once it has been completed to patients. It provides a digital image that clearly shows the type of results they can expect. Not only does this help an individual to know what changes will be made, but it’s a great way to create excitement in those who have been looking forward to improved teeth for many years.

  • DSD Allows Dentists and the laboratory to Work Together with Patients

Another way that DSD can benefit an individual dentist or an entire dental practice is through its ability to help dental professionals and patients to work together to create the perfect smile. It can be difficult for a patient to clearly convey what they’re looking to achieve, in the same way it can be difficult for a dentist to express the different treatment options. DSD solves this by allowing a patient to be the co-designer of their treatment. Dental professionals and patients can work together to create a desired look; this could be through sharing expectations and realistic goals.

Digital Smile Design: Find Out More

Digital Smile Design is already proving to be an effective tool for dentists and it’s a prime example of how technology can go a long way towards improving the quality of dentist care available. To find out more about DSD, how it works and the benefits it has for dentists around the world get in touch. Contact Ambridge Ceramics today on 01765 607347 or online.