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

    Milling PMMA and wax

    PMMA and wax are very often used for the manufacturing of provisionals.

    The aim, when milling these materials, is to keep the machining temperature as low as possible.  This is best achieved with the single-blade ball nose- and torus cutters 110FPRDT and 110FPDT.  The formation of burrs and bristles at the components can also be eliminated with HUFSCHMIED tools.

  • PEEK

    Milling PEEK

    PEEK is a thermoplastic polymer that is increasingly used in medical and dental engineering due to its bio-compatibility.  It is superior compared to CoCr and other NEM materials, in that it is significantly easier to machine.
    As with all thermoplastic polymers, PEEK needs to be milled at a machining temperature that is as low as possible.  For this reason, HUFSCHMIED recommends the use of single-tooth cutters of the type 110FPRDT as a ball nose cutter and 110FPDT as a torus cutter.  These tools achieve efficient processing without the formation of burrs or flags.


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  • Nanocomposites

    Milling nano-composites

    Nanocomposites are thermoplastic materials that contain 50%-60% ceramic filler.  This filler can significantly increase the stability of the polymer.  And this in turn improves its properties as a long-lasting dental component.

    Due to the high content of filler material, nano-composites normally machine to a powder and are very abrasive. For this reason, only diamond-coated tools should be used.

    Depending on the type and percentage of the filler, we recommend ball nose or torus cutting tools with two or three blades combined with a DIP3S diamond coating.

    The coating prevents processing dust from settling on the tool. This decreases the need for the tools needing to be cleaned at regular intervals and also prevents the build-up of cutting forces.

    • 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

    Milling titanium

    Titanium is often used in dental technology for the manufacturing of implants, crowns, dental prostheses and suprastructures.  Due to its durability, its high strength and its good bio-compatibility, titanium is still a popular dental material.

    • 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

    Milling zirconium oxide

    Zirconium oxide (zirconia) is a ceramic material with a particle size in the nanometer range.  This allows for the manufacture of very intricate and smooth structures that are also relatively stress-proof.  These properties make zirconia especially suited to the manufacturing of crowns, bridges, caps and CoCr crowns, since these implants look significantly more realistic.

    The machining of zirconia occurs in its “green“ state with a notably reduced proportion of binder.  For the milling tools this means that geometries are necessary that exert a significantly reduced cutting force.

    • 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

    Milling glass ceramics

    Glass ceramic materials are used in dental engineering for their translucency. Its slight transparency to light gives it a very realistic look.

    Glass ceramics are often composed of feldspar or lithium disilicate. These mineral materials are extremely brittle and very hard.  Therefore, glass ceramics to date have mainly been processed by grinding. Due to the advancement of PCD tools it is now also possible to process these materials by milling, i.e.0 machining with a geometrically defined blade.

    • 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

    Milling Cobalt-chrome/NEM

    Metallic cobalt-chrome and NEM materials are used in the dental industry for bridges and substructures for dental implants. These materials are especially suited to this task due to their bio-compatibility.

    Currently, the only practical way to machine these materials is by wet-processing, although research continues on dry-processing.  Since there is a broad spectrum of different CoCr alloys and variants available, HUFSCHMIED differentiates these materials according to their tensile strength and their 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