What is CAD/CAM and how does it work?
This technology is relatively new in the dental market, first emerging about 20 years ago. CAD/CAM is an acronym that stands for computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. Not specific to the dentistry field, this technology has been used for decades to produce other goods such as tools and cars. Since it is used for designing and manufacturing, this technology can use an image to produce a 3D replica of a conventional impression. The next step is to create a design from the captured image and send the design to an office machine for manufacturing – think 3D printer! The last step, of course, is to bond the in-office designed crown to the actual tooth. What makes this method special is that once the image has been scanned, the CAD software can analyze the patient’s unique dental morphology and surrounding dentition to produce a perfect fit.
If your dentist has this technology in-house, it dramatically reduces the amount of time spent at the dentist that would normally take at least two visits. This means you have more time to do the things that are important to you. If you are in need of just a single crown restoration, this can be done in a single visit. The technology of CAD/CAM allows for the imaging, designing, and manufacturing to be done in-house.