Dental materials

Materials for dental medicine must not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also be durable and highly biocompatible.  For this application, there are a great number of dental materials available, from composites and ceramics to a great variety of alloys.

  • Dental material in general

    Milling and machining of dental materials

    The dental industry has morphed from a traditional craft to a CAD/CAM manufacturing process.  The production of crowns, bridges or abutments requires the use of radius cutters that are tailored precisely to the demands of the material, the machine and, last not least, the user.

    Nowadays, dental professionals are able to choose from a number of materials for high-quality dental prostheses.  Cobalt-chrome (CoCr), NEM, zirconia, titanium, PMMA, PEEK or nano-composites are part of the range of materials that are used in the dental industry.

    A powerful bite – optimisation potential for machining tools in dental engineering


    Hufschmied Zerspanungssysteme would like to point out that there is a lot of potential for optimisation in the making of dental protheses and implants.  The manufacturer of material-specific and CNC machine-specific milling tools is introducing a brand new catalogue for tools that are especially optimised for the machining of zirconium oxide ceramics and other dental engineering materials.

    Dental engineering tends to be an artisanal craft.  However, where companies purchase a new milling centre, there will naturally be a certain tendency to put processes on a more industrial footing.  Simply making sure that the capacity of new machine is well utilised will achieve a faster amortisation of the investment.  This is also the right time to evaluate any specialised tools.


    The dental programme catalogue by Hufschmied lists suitable tools according to the material of the workpiece.  Simultaneously, tools are listed by machining centres, since every CNC machine has strong points and weaknesses: For example, they can differ in respect of their axes, feed rates, tool holders and control systems.

    Hufschmied boasts a wealth of over 700 standard tool geometries serving as the basis for developing tailored tools.  They can each be configured to suit the properties of the material and the characteristics of the machine.  For example, a machine with relatively low power and high rotational speed has to allow for space to deal with a high chip volume and thus can usually only accomodate two or three cutting blades.  However, if a rather slow machine with a high torque value is used for machining, that tool can be equipped with six blades or more.  Furthermore, the required length of a tool may also depend on the machine used.

    Ceramic materials make machining difficult

    It is only logical that the requirements for the tool material will be determined by the toughness of the materials to be machined.  But microgeometry and coating also play a vital role and have to be adapted to the material.  Ceramic materials pose a specific challenge here since they do not produce a chip but rather a powdery residue.  The extremely abrasive nature of these powdery materials requires a tool with a high-quality diamond coating in order to increase the  service life of said tool.  An example of such a tool is the Zirkon-Duster – it can be used for both roughing and smoothing.  Its low cutting pressure makes it possible to achieve wall thicknesses of only 0.1 mm.


    Other materials

    For PEEK and PMMA, Hufschmied has developed the

    110 DTA single-blade milling cutter.  Occlusal splints that usually take an hour to produce can thus be milled in less than 25 minutes.  Especially when dealing with PMMA, Hufschmied’s in-depth experience with challenging materials comes to the fore: Processing maintains the transparency of acrylics.

    Consult Hufschmied if you want to achieve more efficient machining in your dental laboratory.

    • Cost-efficient machining without post-processing

      HUFSCHMIED offers a wide range of milling cutters for the cost-efficient machining of these materials without the need for post-processing.  We select the perfect cutter geometry, a suitable raw material and the most efficient coating for each tool and compile an entire tool system for the corresponding dental milling machine.

  • PMMA / wax

    The efficient milling of PMMA and wax

    In dental technology PMMA or wax is very often used for the production of dentures.

    When milling these materials, the aim is to achieve the lowest possible processing temperature.

    This is best achieved with the 110FPRDT and 110FPDT ball nose and torus cutters with one cutting edge.

    In addition, burr and brush formation on components can be best avoided with HUFSCHMIED tools.

  • PEEK

    Milling PEEK in the best possible way

    The thermoplastic material PEEK is increasingly used in medical and dental technology due to its good biocompatibility. Compared to CoCr materials and other non-precious metals, it offers the advantage that it is much easier to machine.

    In addition, as with all thermoplastics, it is necessary to keep the machining temperature as low as possible when milling PEEK. HUFSCHMIED therefore recommends the use of single tooth cutters of the types 110FPRDT as ball cutters and 110FPDT as torus cutters. These tools enable efficient machining without burr and lug formation.


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  • Nanocomposites

    The efficient milling of nanocomposites

    Nanocomposites are thermoplastic materials that consist of 50 to 60 percent ceramic filler. With this filler, the stability of the plastic can be significantly increased. This improves its properties as a permanent dental component. Due to the high filler content, nanocomposites are usually processed in powder form and are therefore very abrasive. For this reason, diamond-coated tools should always be used.

    Depending on the filler and content, we recommend ball or toroidal milling tools with two or three cutting edges and the nanocrystalline diamond coating DIP3S for milling nanocomposites.

    This coating effectively prevents machining dust from adhering to the tool. This means that the tools no longer have to be cleaned cyclically and do not build up increased cutting pressure.

    • Optimum coordination to matrix and fibre

      The 3D processing of nano-composites requires cutting geometries that are both well-suited to machining the polymer matrix and exhibit enough resistance to wear in the fibre-reinforced ceramic component.  HUFSCHMIED perfectly meets these special requirements when milling nano-composites.

  • Titanium

    The best possible milling of titanium

    In dental technology, titanium is often used for the manufacture of implants, crowns, prostheses and superstructures. Due to its durability, high strength and good compatibility with the body, titanium is still a popular dental material today.

    Hufschmied’s tools can process titanium in the best possible way thanks to their optimized and patented cutting geometries.

    • Improved surface properties and service life.

      The milling of titanium results in high temperatures.  Due to the particular cutter geometry of the HC720DT radius cutter and the HC910DT torus cutter, this heat is dissipated perfectly through the chips.  Furthermore, a highly-polished chip space allows for an extremely high chip removal speed.  This means that abrasive titanium chips are removed from the impact zone.  These special properties of HUFSCHMIED tools result in a long service life together with a perfect surface quality of the crown, bridge or an entire implant.

  • Zirconium oxide

    How can an optimal quality be guaranteed when machining zirconium oxide (ZrO2)?

    Among the newest and most popular materials for dental work is the ceramic zirconia.

    Research findings show that ZrO2 can be machined more efficiently if a tool uses an optimized tool geometry.

    In addition, a diamond-coated tool for machining gives better results, as it ensures a perfect result even after long tool life.

    Otherwise, the probability that the fine structures of ZrO2 will break out or break through increases.

    In extensive tests, Hufschmied’s tools still achieve a square capacity of 99% even after the last tested blank has passed and are therefore the only tools that can show a constant result. Both the quality of the pinnacle and the bottom achieve excellent values in all three machining cycles.

    The aim of Hufschmied’s tools is thus to achieve a results which, to the greatest possible extent, does not require any additional manual reworking.

    This optimizes the work process and improves the quality.

    The Faculty of Mechanical and Process Engineering of the Augsburg University of Applied Sciences has carried out a scientific benchmark test of dental technology tools for zirconia machining. The result: The choice of milling tools has a significant effect on the quality and efficiency of the machining process. The winner of the benchmark is the HC720DT-DIP®3S from Hufschmied Zerspanungssysteme GmbH!

    Here you can find the complete whitepaper.

    • Tool systems for zirconia round blanks and blocks

      This material machines to a powder and Hufschmied has developed a tool combination adapted to the different states of zirconia roundels and blocks at different densities.

      A two-or three-flute ball- or torus cutter is available for roughing. For smoothing, we provide two-and three-flute PUSH-TYPE smoothing tools.  For the more compacted zirconium oxides, we offer the three-flute HC720DT/HC910DT tools for roughing and the 105SHR tool for smoothing.

      For less compacted varieties, we recommend the HM915/HM905 as roughing tools and the 104SHR model as a smoothing tool.

      All tools for the milling of zirconium oxide are equipped with a nano-crystalline DIP3S diamond coating that prevents the dust settling on the surface of the diamond coating.

  • Glass ceramics

    Glass ceramics

    The efficient milling of glass ceramics

    Due to their translucency, glass ceramics are the preferred material for dental technology. They have a partial translucency and thus provide a very natural appearance.

    Glass-ceramics often consist of feldspar or dilithium disilicate. These mineral materials are extremely brittle and very hard. For this reason, glass-ceramic has so far mostly been processed by grinding. However, with the further development of PCD tools, Hufschmied has now made it possible to machine these materials by milling, i.e. by machining with a geometrically defined cutting edge.

    As a result, glass ceramic can be machined more efficiently and process-optimized with Hufschmied tools.

    • Special PCD tools for increased efficiency

      HUFSCHMIED provides both grinding tools and PCD tools of the latest generation.

      Do you have any questions regarding the machining of glass ceramics? We are looking forward to receiving your query. Together with you, our Technical Consulting Team will develop the perfect solution for your processing task.

  • CoCr/NEM

    Chrome cobalt/NEM milling

    In the dental industry, metallic cobalt-chrome materials or non-precious metals are used as bridges and substructures for dental implants. These materials are characterized in particular by their biocompatibility.

    So far, these materials can only be processed effectively in a wet state, with dry processing being further researched by Hufschmied. Since there are a large number of different CrCo alloys and designs, HUFSCHMIED differentiates these materials according to their tensile strength and alloy components.

    • Optimised tools for every degree of hardness

      For harder materials, HUFSCHMIED provides the two- and four-flute ball nose and torus cutters type HC63XDT and HC64XDT.  For a long service life, these tools are available with a TL8 coating.

      For softer materials, HUFSCHMIED provides the two- and four-flute ball nose- and torus cutters type HC23XDT and HC24XDT. They are also available with a TL8 coating for a long service life.

      Do you have any questions regarding the machining of cobalt-chrome materials?  Together with you, our Technical Consulting Team will develop the perfect solution for your processing task.  We are looking forward to receiving your query.

Technical Consulting for the processing of dental materials

Increase you productivity when machining dental materials

In order to increase the productivity of your company, we can support you with technical advice for the milling and drilling of dental materials. We can analyse the requirements of your company and develop tailored technical solutions for you. With our expertise and the options available at our HUFSCHMIED engineering centre, we can optimise your manufacturing processes.

Full potential