The world of dentistry has grown tremendously over the past few years thanks to computers and advanced technology. CAD/CAM technology
is one of the best methods used to assist dentists in their ability to provide adequate care to patients.
What Is CAD/CAM Technology?
The manufacturing industry has long been using CAD/CAM, and recently this technology started being used in the dental world. It is a computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing method used to produce ceramic crowns, onlays, bridges, and veneers. If you are in need of major dental work, such as a dental implant, you will benefit greatly from this design and manufacturing as it helps to fabricate abutments for the implants used to replace missing teeth. The new restorations created with modern dentistry are better-fitting, more natural looking, and more durable than older versions.
Using In-Office and Dental Laboratory CAD/CAM
Dentists are using this technology in the office to design restorations on a computer screen with a patient. If you are in need of a serious dental procedure, using CAD/CAM can make it easier for them to understand the process. The computer will create a 3-D custom image of the teeth, allowing the dental staff to create an impression without using old methods to create a tooth. The amount of time it takes to create a replacement tooth with 3-D technology is based on skill and the complexity of the tooth.
Why CAD/CAM Technology Is Helpful
Since the restorations are stronger than models previously made, a patient will receive a tooth that is less likely to fracture. Individuals in need of a serious smile makeover or another large procedure can have replacement teeth that look similar to their natural teeth. They are less likely to deal with poor fitting and fracture concerns. If the dentist has this technology in the office, patients can receive same-day treatments. Instead of patients requiring multiple appointments to receive a replacement tooth, the full procedure can be done in a single appointment. Patients will not need to receive a temporary tooth for a few weeks while a permanent tooth is created in a lab. This makes the complete process less time-consuming for a patient, and it reduces concerns patients often have when it comes to their confidence level thanks to the look of their teeth.
Exceptions to CAD/CAM
The only exception to CAD/CAM is for a patient in need of an all-ceramic bridge. This treatment does require multiple visits to the dentist as the creation and insertion of the permanent bridge is harder than the insertion of a standard crown. If the dentist would like more time to focus on perfecting the tooth, they could require two appointments to ensure patients receive the best treatment plan possible. Accuracy and skill are vital things one must have when creating a replacement tooth. This is why prosthodontics
is such a large part of the dental field. The demand for precision, comfort, and appearance of a tooth are key elements in CAD/CAM.
Costs of CAD/CAM
Not every tooth is treatable with CAD/CAM dentistry. Some patients will need to receive traditional crown procedures based on their health or the aesthetic appeal of the tooth. Some patients may feel the new crown looks too opaque, and may ask for a tooth that appears more natural looking. The all-ceramic restorations are the most expensive on the market as they provide the most natural appearance out of any false tooth created. The expense incurred with CAD/CAM is not as expensive as patients might think, as the dentist invests their money into the machinery and equipment needed and passes a small portion to the patients through their fees. Insurance companies will provide coverage for dental crowns created in-office with CAD/CAM technology.
For any additional questions or to schedule an appointment with one of our dental professionals, contact Newton Wellesley Dental Partners today!