Dr. Dowell uses CAD/CAM technology in our state-of-the-art dental practice. What does that mean for you? Metal-free dental restorations are designed and created more successfully than ever before with computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacture. Used for dental crowns, bridges, dentures, inlays, onlays, and more, the method increases the speed and overall quality of the restoration. Let’s take a closer look at how the technology works, and the potential benefits of CAD/CAM for your next restoration.
CAD/CAM dentistry allows your dentist to manufacture dental restorations from the comfort of our office, often in just one visit. The technology has been used in dentistry for several decades, but its popularity is growing with recent improvements. Now, it consistently provides better-fitting, more successful restorations. The technology has a wide range of applications, from metal-free bridges and crowns to inlays, onlays, porcelain veneers, and full or partial dentures.
One of the most common applications of CAD/CAM dentistry is for one-visit dental crowns. Typically, the procedure for crowns takes two visits to the dentist completed over two weeks. A temporary crown is usually necessary in the time between appointments. With chairside restorations and CAD/CAM technology, however, the process can be completed in just one visit -- and that completely eliminates the need for a flimsy, uncomfortable temporary crown.
To create your metal-free restoration with CAD/CAM technology, Dr. Dowell uses digital impressions and an optical scanner to capture a 3D image of your tooth and oral structures. With these images and the special CAD software, your dentist sketches and designs the final restoration. This information is entered into the milling machine, which manufactures the restoration out of a single block of porcelain in a matter of minutes.
The benefits of CAD/CAM technology in restorative dentistry are many. Some of the most common include…
- In-office CAD/CAM means same-day restorations are possible.
- Digital imagery is captured far more comfortably than with traditional impressions.
- The risk of miscommunication between dentist and dental lab is eliminated.
- Metal-free restorations blend flawlessly with the surrounding tooth enamel.
- Research shows that restorations created with CAD/CAM technology may last longer than those prepared by a technician in a separate lab.
- CAD/CAM restorations are less likely to fracture.
In appropriate cases, CAD/CAM is a highly-effective option for increasing efficiency and improving results. But not every tooth can be treated with a metal-free restoration manufactured using CAD/CAM technology. You and Dr. Dowell will thoroughly discuss your options in restorative dentistry. If CAD/CAM technology is not right for your smile, restorations completed by a skilled lab technician are a sturdy, reliable option.
Dr. Dowell and the team at Aesthetic & Restorative Dentistry of Norman are committed to offering patients the latest in dental technology, and CAD/CAM technology is just one example. Please contact our office to learn more or to schedule an appointment today!