Wet or Dry? The Need for Both Dental Milling Machines
News Views & How-To's

Wet or Dry? The Need for Both Dental Milling Machines

dental milling machinery

Why purchasing separate and dedicated machines for glass ceramic and zirconia makes sense

by Brian Brooks, Roland DG’s dental solutions expert.

Roland DGA recently announced the release of the DWX-4W, our company’s first wet-milling machine. It was added to the Roland DG's family of dental milling devices in answer to our lab and dental users need for a wet-milling option to handle many of the new brands and materials such as IPS e.max®. The DWX-4W fills a gap in many dental restoration workflows, giving laboratories the added flexibility of milling glass ceramic, lithium disilicate and composite resin materials that are becoming increasingly popular in the industry due to their high translucency, increased flexural strength and hardness, and overall aesthetic value for inlay/onlays and other smile line restorations.

emax dental milling glass ceramics

Glass ceramic and composite pin blocks – restorative material that is praised for its translucency, flexural strength and aesthetics.

Act Smart With Both Wet and Dry-Milling Options

In today’s restoration environment there’s a growing need for both wet and dry milling systems and despite the increased popularity of glass ceramic, we don’t foresee any decrease in the need for dry-milling materials, such as zirconia, especially in regards to complete full mouth restorations and many of the larger restorative jobs. Plus, the latest pre-shaded zirconia blanks are now offering greater aesthetic value than ever before.

In a forward-looking laboratory that wants to maximize profit and utilize costly machines to their fullest potential, it’s not about needing one or the other, the ideal option is to offer the most flexible restorative service by running both dry and wet milling machines and providing a complete prosthetic solution that is faster, more efficient and non-restrictive as far as materials go. As a provider, you never want to be put in a situation where you have to turn down restoration or outsource orders to another lab because you don’t have the correct machinery or you don’t have the means to deliver it fast enough.

dental milling machines

Roland DG’s DWX-50 5 Axis Dental (dry) Milling Machine and our new DWX-4W Wet Dental Mill offer a more flexible solution.

Whatever your opinion is of the aesthetic or production values of glass ceramic vs. zirconia, the current restoration market is dictating a need for both options and labs should be responsive to this.

Why Separate Devices?


One of the reasons why Roland DG developed separate machines rather than a single wet-milling/dry-milling combo device is out of pure practicality. In researching the market, we found that many of the lab professionals we talked to admitted to never actually running their combo machines in both wet and dry modes and typically ran them solely as dry-milling or wet-milling devices. This is due to the inefficient downtime in switching back-and-forth from each process that includes hours of cleaning in-between restoration jobs and other common issues of cross-contamination and damaged tooling.

Production and Price

With the overall cost of combo machines, you would hope for a highly-productive solution. Unfortunately, with a combo machine, you’re never going to have 100% production capabilities of a separate wet and dry-milling machine set-up. In addition, purchasing our DWX-50 and DWX-4W is almost the same overall cost when all is said and done of a typical combo machine and dramatically increases your production speed and capabilities.

Run Both at the Same Time

The ideal scenario is to run both devices simultaneously, thus ensuring that your lab can take the maximum amount of restoration orders possible. By affording yourself a workflow that has both machines available for wet and dry-milling, you increase your efficiency and your profit potential.

  • Take a sneak peak at the brand new DWX-4W Wet Dental Machine and see some of the powerful features that this reliable and affordable wet mill technology has to offer.


Brian Brooks is Roland DGA’s product manager for the DWX series of Dental Milling Machines. In addition to being an expert in Roland DG's dental technologies, he is an accomplished trainer and speaker.