Special computer software in dentistry used for designing and creating dental crowns, dental bridges, dentures, inlays, onlays, veneers and more. It is a very fast, precise and convenient way to get dental restorations, but it can cost much more than the conventional way.
The CAD/CAM system is also known as computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing system and a very advanced method in dentistry. It first became popular in the 1980s and went through a lot of changes in the following years. It first started with 2D imaging, but now offers precise 3D digital images. Also, the latest advancements include a special camera that doesn’t require any powder and scans the whole mouth with immense precision.
The uses of the CAD/CAM system are very broad. The restorations can be literally used in so many different fields of dentistry. First of all, they are a revolution in prosthodontics, surgery, dental implantology, orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and more. The CAD/CAM is used to provide a number of restorations including, dental veneers, crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, orthodontic appliances and more.
The word computer-aided says it all. This means that the job of the dentist is much easier thanks to this method. It is also more pleasant for the patient. Once the patient and dentist have decided on the type of treatment, the dentist doesn’t have to take an impression and send it to the dental lab. He only takes pictures with a special camera that provides 3D images from the mouth. These digital impressions are sent to the special software. That way, with those images, both the dentist and the patient can plan the future restoration. The program gives numerous options and can perfectly match the future restoration to the already existing teeth. There is an array of colors and features to choose from. The biggest advantage of the CAD/CAM is extremely esthetic creations. It saves time both for the dentist and for the patient. Another thing that dentists really appreciate is that they can prepare the toot with the minimal removal of dental tissue. They get to use different materials with this method and even work with some of the newest and most advanced materials. The restorations are milled from the chosen materials most commonly in the form of blocks. Once it’s done, the dentist tries it in the patient’s mouth and discusses whether the patient wants to do any changes.
As mentioned the biggest advantage of this method is the esthetic restorations. They are all done with a computer program based on very precise images. Another great thing is that they require only one visit to the dentist. The chairside CAD/CAM provides a final product in only hours. In other words, the patient gets a restoration with only one visit. They don’t have to go through any pain and the process is very simple and easy. In the end, the crowns, bridges, veneers fit perfectly and look exactly the same as the surrounding teeth.
The only disadvantage is the price of the final product. These restorations can be several times more expensive compared to the conventional ones. That is why a lot of patents can’t afford them and decide for a cheaper alternative.