Delcam has been presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category in recognition of the continuous development of the company's software for the design and manufacture of dental restorations. The Queen’s Awards are commercial awards in the UK, with only a small percentage of those who enter each year winning an Award. This latest recognition for the company follows the receipt of Queen’s Awards in 2003 for the development of ArtCAM and for PowerINSPECT in 2004. Delcam has one of the largest development teams in the CAM industry in developing technology.Delcam’s involvement in the dental area began several years ago when companies in the industry started to use the company’s PowerMILL CAM system for the machining of restorations. The software provided benefits in the time in which machining data could be generated and in the speed and quality of the machining operations.This experience showed that it was difficult for dental technicians with no previous experience in CADCAM to use the system. This was partly because they were unfamiliar with the terminology being used and found the program difficult to learn. Also, although the range of machining strategies within the software helped to ensure high quality of the results, the inexperienced users found it difficult to select the correct options. This meant that programming took longer than necessary and that results were not as good as they could have been.A dedicated piece of software was needed for the dental industry--one that retained the power of PowerMILL but was easier to use and incorporated familiar terminology for the dental technician. Delcam developed DentMILL, a highly automated, knowledge-based program specifically designed to generate toolpaths to machine restorations.Following early success with DentMILL, Delcam began the introduction of a partner design program, DentCAD. Again the aim was to provide software that would be easy for dental technicians to use, regardless of their previous knowledge of computer-aided design. To help achieve this, the process is based on a series of intuitive “wizards” that use dental imagery and terminology to guide the user through the design process. A range of visualisation tools is available at every stage, which allow detailed inspection of the shape being developed. They help ensure that the finished restoration fits accurately and comfortably in the patient’s mouth.With the two progams, high-quality restorations can now be produced within hours that would previously have taken days. This provides a much faster service to patients.For more information, go to www.delcam.com.To read more about dental CAD/CAM, go to www.dentistryiq.com/index/display/article-display/8675316567/articles/dentisryiq/practice-management/2010/04/dr_-joe_blaes_interviews.html.To comment on this subject, go to community.pennwelldentalgroup.com/.