Daniel Tebbi DMD Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics

(818) 789-2034

CAD/CAM Dentistry

All-ceramic restorations have been known for their durability and esthetics. We can create customized fittings of crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, and other dental restorations using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM). Through the CAD/CAM technology, we can provide you with the most precise restorations possible. By using CAD/CAM, we are able to create durable, well-fitting, individual or multiple tooth restorations.

CAD/CAM technology and metal-free materials are used by dentists and dental laboratories to provide patients with milled ceramic crowns, veneers, onlays, inlays and bridges. Dental CAD/CAM also is used to fabricate abutments for dental implants, used to replace missing teeth.

As the materials and technology available for CAD/CAM dentistry have improved over the years, so too have the restorations that patients can receive from this form of digital dentistry. Today's CAD/CAM restorations are better-fitting, more durable and more natural looking (multi-colored and translucent, similar to natural teeth) than previously machined restorations.

In-Office and Dental Laboratory CAD/CAM Options:

Dental CAD/CAM technology is available for dental practices and dental laboratories, enabling dentists and their staff (or a laboratory technician) to design restorations on a computer screen. The CAD/CAM computer displays a 3-D custom image of your prepared tooth or teeth obtained by digitally capturing the preparations with an optical scanner. Alternatively, the 3-D images can be obtained by scanning a traditional model obtained from conventional impressions of the preparations.

The dentist or laboratory technician then uses those 3-D images and CAD software to draw and design the final restoration.

Once the final restoration is designed, the crown, inlay, onlay, veneer or bridge is milled from a single block of ceramic material in a milling chamber. The restoration then can be customized with stains and glazes to create a more natural look, before being fired in an oven (similar to ceramics and pottery), and then finished and polished.

Benefits of CAD/CAM Dentistry

Research suggests that today's milled CAD/CAM restorations are stronger than those milled from earlier materials. They also are less likely to fracture.

All-ceramic bridge restorations require a second office visit to insert the bridge. In such cases, a temporary restoration would be necessary.

Another exception is if your dentist prefers to fabricate the CAD/CAM restoration while you are not in the office, making it a two-appointment process. Some dentists prefer this approach in order to dedicate more time to the design and characterization processes involved with creating a CAD/CAM restoration. A temporary also would be required in this instance.

CAD/CAM technology is not a replacement for the accuracy and talent provided by a dentist or dental laboratory technician. Dentists must be precise in creating the initial tooth preparation; both dentists and laboratory technicians must be accurate when taking the digital impression and drawing the restoration.

Depending on the type of restoration that's needed (such as inlays/onlays), your dentist may prefer conventional laboratory fabrication techniques that have a longer and more proven track record for accuracy of fit. Therefore, patients must discuss their particular situation and desires with their dentist, who will make the final treatment decision based on a thorough examination.

*Information from the Consumer Guide to Dentistry

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