CAD/CAM is an advancement in prosthetics and dentistry that first came on the scene in 1985. Since that time, the technology has undergone numerous improvements to elevate the quality of restorative care to new heights.
What is CAD/CAM Dentistry?
CAD/CAM is short for computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). These terms refer to computer software that dentists use to carry out complicated procedures with greater ease, speed, and accuracy.
CAD/CAM technology allows us to craft dental restorations from a ceramic block, making the finished products much more refined in comparison to more traditional grafting procedures. Examples of the restorations we can create include veneers, crowns, bridges, inlays, and onlays.
What is the Procedure for CAD/CAM Dentistry?
In CAD/CAM dentistry, we make digital scans of your teeth to create customized 3D images of your tooth restorations. The scans are used to make a virtual design for the prosthetic restoration, which we then send to digitally connected milling equipment. The digital design serves as the guide for the milling machine to craft the prosthetic from the block of ceramic material.
A CAD/CAM procedure usually involves anesthesia, preparing the tooth, intraoral scanning, designing the restoration, milling, sintering, polishing and cementation. The entire procedure can take anywhere from 40 minutes to two and a half hours. While that might sound like a long time, it is more convenient for both of us to do the whole procedure in one visit rather than several.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of CAD/CAM Dentistry?
CAD/CAM has a lot going for it. It allows for a more accurate crafting procedure and shortens the waiting period to receive the prosthetic appliances. Dental offices used to outsource dental restorations to laboratories, which would craft them based on the specifications provided and then send the created products back to the dental office.
But CAD/CAM allows us to complete the entire procedure at our office in one visit, with no need for outsourcing, delays, or temporary restorations. The costs of outsourcing are also eliminated, but we may charge you if our specialists needs to spend extra time consulting you.
A possible disadvantage of CAD/CAM dentistry is that many offices do not provide it, and it is often difficult for dental professionals to learn how to use it. Surveys show that only 8 to 10 percent of dental offices in America have their own CAD/CAM technology. Fortunately, Dallas Oral Surgery Associates is one of those lucky few, so you won’t have to search any further.
Caring for your Dental Restorations
After you receive your new prosthetic restorations, you can care for them the same way you care for your natural teeth. Brush and floss twice a day, eat a healthy diet that is minimal in sugar and come in for biannual check-ups and tooth cleanings.
One of our doctors will work with you to determine whether or not a CAD/CAM dental procedure is the right choice for you. During your consultation, we will take your medical history into account when making a decision. Come prepared with your questions and concerns.
For more information, please contact our office at 214-363-9946.