CAD CAM (Computer-aided design or computer-aided manufacturing) is the branch of dentistry and prosthodontics that uses computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing to improve the creation and design of dental restorations, particularly dental prostheses such as crowns, veneers, and other appliances. CAD/CAM technology creates well-fitting, aesthetically pleasing, and long-lasting prostheses for patients.
Objectives include lowering unit costs and making affordable restorations and appliances that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive. However, chairside CAD/CAM often requires more time from the dentist and costs at least twice as much as traditional restorative treatments that use lab services.
Your dentist will prepare the site for restoration by removing any decay or structurally unsound tooth portions. Next, an optical scanner digitally captures the tooth preparation and surrounding teeth to create a 3D custom image. The dental professional will use the 3D images to design the final restoration using CAD software. The design is then transferred to a milling machine, which shapes the crown, veneer, inlay, onlay, or bridge from a single ceramic block. The restoration is then stained or glazed to make it appear more natural before being polished. Finally, the restoration is permanently cemented to your teeth, completing your smile.
Depending on the case's complexity, this process could take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours.
The use of CAD/CAM technology benefits patients as well as dental professionals. Among the numerous benefits are the following:
A dentist would prepare your tooth, take an impression, and send the impression to a lab to create the final restoration using traditional laboratory methods. Because of CAD/CAM technology, the dental professional can sometimes complete all of these steps in a single visit, causing fewer disruptions in your schedule.
Digital first impressions:
If you've ever had a traditional impression, you understand the advantages of a digital system. The conventional method involves the patient placing a tray containing a thick, gooey substance called alginate in their mouth and holding it there for two to five minutes until the material sets. Next, a scanner with digital impressions is placed in the patient's mouth and moved around the affected area like a magic wand.
CAD/CAM technology reduces several outsourcing costs for your dentist, and these savings may be passed on to the patient. Inquire about your options and the associated costs.
Since CAD/CAM dentistry cannot treat every tooth, speak with your dentist about your best options. Because precision and fit are so crucial for your restoration or prosthesis, the practitioner may prefer to use the traditional laboratory method for complex fabrications. Begin by inquiring with your dentist about CAD/CAM technology and how it might affect your restoration appointment.
Digital dentistry is rapidly expanding, offering incredible and wonderful opportunities to improve dental care. The future seems to be digital, and as technology advances, CAD/CAM systems will continue to evolve and improve as we gain a better understanding of their benefits and limitations. However, implementing this technology is still costly and requires highly trained personnel.
The design software now has additional applications, such as complete dentures and removable partial denture frameworks. Five axes milling units provide the greatest precision in restoration fabrication. Although 3D printing has been used in dentistry, it is limited to polymers and does not include ceramics. Ultrasound impressions, which can penetrate the gingiva non-invasively without retraction cords and are not affected by fluids, will eventually replace optical impressions.
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