When your teeth are cracked, chipped, weak, discolored, or you simply want to improve your smile, one of the options your dentist will suggest is a dental crown.
A dental crown is a type of dental restoration placed on a tooth. It protects a weak tooth and restore a broken tooth. Additionally, it helps hold a dental bridge in place, and to cover a misshaped or discolored tooth.
To install a dental crown, the patient needs two separate dental visits. The first visit involves the preparation of the tooth and creating an impression and for permanent cementing of the crown.
Two dental appointments can be time-consuming. Moreover, these appointments can interfere with daily schedules. Taking an impression can be uncomfortable, and a temporary crown can be unsightly.
Fortunately, dentistry continues to improve, moving away from the inefficient processes and towards comfort, speed, and quality.
Through the CAD/CAM system, dental restorations that traditionally involve several dental visits, waiting periods, and uncomfortable dental impressions can now be done in a single visit.
CAD/CAM, which stands for computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing, has been incorporated in dentistry through CAD/CAM Dentistry. The CAD/CAM dental technology is capable of many dental procedures – from digital impressions and design to the production of full restorations, surgical guides, fixed partial and complete dentures, implant abutments, and orthodontic appliances.
You may be asking, so what? But, this dental technology is not only impressive for its abundant capabilities. CAD/CAM dental technology allows same-day crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, veneers, among others as it prepares the tooth and fabricates the restoration right in the dental office.
How does CAD/CAM do it?
CAD/CAM systems often consist of three parts: the computer system, milling unit, and software.
The computer system comprises the hardware used for viewing and designing the restoration which includes the monitor. The milling unit points to the machine that shapes the restoration. The software consists of data or instructions which the computer system processes to create the restoration.
Curious how these three work together? Here’s how:
With the use of a computer program, the crown, in-lay, etc. are designed. The information is then sent to the milling machine for fabrication. Once this stage is completed, the finished restoration is all set for cementation or bonding in place.
Because of this system, the patient can complete his or her procedure in one appointment and without the need to wear a provisional restoration.
Still adamant about trying CAD/CAM?
Before subscribing to this dental technology, you must understand how the treatment works, the amount of time involved, and the cost of the process.
Read on and know about the pros and cons of this dental technology.
First, the advantages:
- one-day appointment
- no impression-taking that makes you gag
- no provisional restorations, no tooth sensitivity
- saves time as no dental laboratory is involved
Now for the disadvantages:
- greater cost compared to routine treatment
- long appointment
If you are for speed and more comfort in getting your dental restoration, CAD/CAM dental technology might be best for you. But, if you deem the procedure costly and you are willing to wait and go through additional appointments, you can opt for the traditional process.
Always consult with your dentist about the options you have. Also, inform your dentist of your concerns and do not hesitate to ask him or her questions.