When your teeth are chipped, cracked, weak, discolored, or you simply want to better your smile, one of the options your dentist will suggest is are dental crowns.
A dental crown is a dental restoration placed on a tooth to protect a weak tooth, restore a broken tooth, hold a dental bridge in place, and to cover a misshaped or discolored tooth.
To install a dental crown, the patient might need two separate dental visits: for preparation of the tooth and creating an impression and the for permanent cementation of the crown.
Two dental appointments can be time-consuming and 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.
CAD/CAM Dental Technology
Through the CAD/CAM system, the creation and installation of dental crowns can now be done in a single visit. Meanwhile, traditional dental restorations involve several dental visits, waiting periods, and uncomfortable dental impressions
CAD/CAM, which stands for computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing, has been incorporated in dentistry through CAD/CAM Dentistry.
CAD/CAM dental technology is capable of many dental procedures. This includes 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. In fact, it prepares the tooth and fabricates the restoration right in the dental office.
How does CAD/CAM work?
CAD/CAM systems often consist of three parts: a computer system, a milling unit, and software.
The computer system comprises the hardware used for viewing and designing the restoration which requires a monitor. The milling unit instructs the machine that shapes the restoration. And finally, 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:
A computer program can help design the crown, in-lay, etcetera. The information is then sent to the milling machine for fabrication. After this stage, 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 without the need to wear a provisional restoration.
Still unsure 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 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.