Advancements in technology have helped the medical field achieve more accurate, efficient treatment options for patients. CAD/CAM or computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing is a form of design and manufacturing that takes place right at a dentist office to provide restorations immediately rather than relying on a lab to make a crown, dentures, or implants and ship it back to us at East Lyme Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
How Does This Work?
The process for CAD/CAM dentistry is smooth and it is what allows us to produce such quick results. Let’s take a dental crown for example. In traditional fashion the necessary data is gathered to create the crown, however, the crown cannot be manufactured at the office itself. Instead, the data is sent to a lab where it is then made and shipped back to the office. This is ultimately why the process for receiving crowns, dentures, and inlays/onlays takes time. CAD/CAM solves this and allows us to both gather the data and manufacture the necessary object in-house. There are two parts to CAD/CAM: the scanning and virtualization - and the manufacturing itself.
First, a digital scan is done and sent to a computer where software is used to model out the part that will be made. After this process is done, a milling machine will carve out the object using a solid block of either resin or composite resin. The end result is an incredibly accurate production of the digital model that can fit into the patient’s mouth without issue.
CAD/CAM is able to be used for a wide variety of restorations such as veneers, crowns, dentures, crownlays, inlays/onlays, fixed bridges, and dental implants. Patients can walk in and walk out with a smile within one trip, which definitely saves a lot of time!
Are There Downsides To This?
There is a reason why not every dentist office uses this technology. For one, it requires a lot of processing power to be able to achieve this. It also requires additional training to be able to do correctly - it may sound like the machines do all the work, but in reality, there is no room for error, if one thing is punched in incorrectly, the end result is pretty much useless to the patient. We have had great success with our machines, but it is simply worth noting why some offices don’t feel that spending the money and time for CAD/CAM machines is entirely worth it when they have had success by doing things the traditional way.
That is why we at East Lyme Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery we are proud to have this technology available for our patients. We believe that providing the best services will make for a more positive experience. Many people value their time and don’t want to have to wait for weeks for a new smile - and while the traditional way has its upsides, such as fewer chances of errors occurring, many patients have been satisfied with their same-day crowns and implants. If you would like to make an appointment with us or ask any questions, you can call our office at (860) 934-7809.