Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) Digital Dentistry has revolutionized dental procedures. Traditionally, if crowns, onlays, inlays or dental veneers were required to restore damaged teeth, multiple procedures and a great deal of waiting time in-between would be inevitable. CAD/CAM creates these ceramic restorations within minutes in the dental office. This means that many treatments can be completed in just a single visit.
CAD/CAM is comprised of several computer-assisted design (CAD) tools and a milling machine that creates custom ceramic restorative devices (CAM). CAD/CAM can benefit almost anyone needing a ceramic restoration. This is of great benefit to nervous patients, and it can also reduce the cost of treatment.
How can CAD/CAM benefit me?
CAD/CAM can benefit almost anyone needing a ceramic restoration. Exceptions include patients who have a prior history of breaking ceramic devices and those with a deep bite. CAD/CAM devices are proven to last for over 5 years, but recent research indicates that most CAD/CAM-created restorations last for more than 10 years.
Additional advantages associated with CAD/CAM include:
What is the CAD/CAM system comprised of?
No temporary restorations*
High-quality ceramic products
Less injections and discomfort
Fewer dental visits
More natural tooth is saved
Long lasting restorations
CAD-CAM means Computer Assisted Design and Computer Assisted Milling. The CAD/CAM system has three major components:
Acquisition device or 3-D Scanner: This device is home to a high-quality camera and a medical grade computer. The function of this unit is to photograph or scan the prepared tooth. Three-dimensional images are created of the tooth on the screen, which the dentist uses to design the perfect ceramic restoration. We use the state of the art 3M TrueDef Intraoral Scanner system.
Three-dimensional CAD software: This software allows the dentist to examine the tooth from every angle. It is the closest possible thing to holding the tooth in the hands and rotating it.
Milling device: This unit actually manufactures the custom restoration from the specifications entered into the computer. A ceramic block that best resembles the existing tooth color is chosen and placed into the unit. Within minutes, the milling device produces the restoration the dentist designed.
What does a CAD/CAM restoration procedure involve?
The first step in the procedure is preparing the tooth for the restoration. The dentist will then coat the teeth with a contrasting agent before scanning images of your teeth.
These images are transposed onto the computer screen, where the dentist will view the tooth from every angle and design the final restoration. When the design is complete, it will be transmitted to the milling unit.
The dentist will insert a block of ceramic, matching your tooth color, into the milling machine which will then create the full crown, onlay, inlay, or veneer. Before affixing the restoration to the tooth, the dentist will perform a dry fit to ensure comfort. Once a perfect fit is established, the restoration will be polished and affixed or bonded to the tooth with dental cement.
If you have questions about our CAD/CAM Digital Dental System or would like to obtain more information on this innovative technology, please contact our office.