At a high level: progress for dentists – analogue and digital production alternatives – innovative methods and materials for the laboratory – a focal topic at IDS Good teamwork between the practice and the laboratory is an important prerequisite for complex implant and prosthetics treatments. The dental technician, as a materials specialist, makes his specialist knowledge and experience available to the dentist. Faced with rapidly changing manufacturing methods, it is helpful if dentists are accompanied and competently advised by their materials specialists from the start and throughout their treatment planning. The varied work of dental technicians supports the dental industry with numerous new developments: innovative CAD/CAM software, optimised materials for these, analogue or digital manufacturing options, modern labour management and much more - in short: dental technology is on the rise. The "state of the art" in dental technology is best exhibited by the International Dental Show (IDS), which will take place from 10-14 March 2015 in Cologne. It is above all digital technology that is changing the dental laboratory today: modern CAD/CAM-supported manufacturing processes dominate daily life in dental technology. In combination with materials optimised for this, digital procedures increase the precision of prosthetic and implant structures – requiring only a short time and low costs. For example, the production of ceramic crown and bridge frameworks using CAD/CAM-supported milling technology has caused the use of traditional casting processes to decline noticeably. This change is accompanied by extremely high-performing ceramic materials such as zirconium oxide or lithium silicates, which guarantee excellent aesthetic results and at the same time highly durable dental products. Digital processes are also suitable for processing metal alloys: many precious and non-precious metal alloys can be processed excellently using milling technology; in addition, techniques such as wet grinding of cobalt-chrome sinter alloys or, as an external service, the selective laser melting procedure, are playing an increasingly important role. However, progress in the area of traditional analogue production procedures is by no means finished. Casting technology still takes on a central role in many laboratories – this applies for the processing of high gold content alloys as well as for non-precious metals. In addition, highly-developed electroplating technology is available for the materials-efficient production of gold fillings. Alongside gold, titanium is another particularly biocompatible material that can also be processed using soldering-free joining techniques. And for aesthetic, tooth-coloured veneers in the layering and press-on techniques, there are now complete systems of stains, enamels and dentine materials available. In the future, dental technicians will be able to choose from analogue production methods and a range of suitable materials for the production of high-quality prosthetics – which can be seen in advance at the coming IDS trade fair in Cologne. Soon, the nearly universally applicable 3D printing of long-term, stable, high-performance composites and composite materials will emerge as the latest dental development in addition to the classic casting technology as well as the modern machining processes. For this, no great investment is necessarily required on the part of the laboratory, because the dental industry also provides the possibility of central order processing. Dental technicians are increasingly involved in decisions about method selection and the creation of complex implant and prosthetics (supra-) structures. The dental industry supports this development in particular, every two years, with the world's largest trade fair in the sector, IDS Cologne. In addition to more than 2,150 exhibitors in an area of 150.000 m², this must-attend event for dentists and dental technicians also offers an extensive supporting programme including numerous product presentations and lectures. "Modern dental technology plays a key role in the creation of prosthetics, including implant prosthetics", according to Dr. Markus Heibach, managing director of the VDDI. "IDS contributes significantly to the success of dental technology every two years. This leading trade fair for the dental industry provides an incomparable showcase and discussion forum for all innovations in dental technology." The IDS (International Dental Show) takes place in Cologne every two years and is organised by the GFDI Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Dental-Industrie mbH, the commercial enterprise of the Association of German Dental Manufacturers (VDDI). It is staged by the Koelnmesse GmbH, Cologne.