CAD/CAM Dentistry

CAD/CAM Dentistry

CAD/CAM Dentistry

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CAD/CAM dentistry, (Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing in dentistry), is an area of dentistry utilizing CAD/CAM technologies to produce different types of dental restorations, including crowns, crownlays, veneers, inlays and onlays, fixed bridges, dental implant restorations and orthodontic appliances.


CAD/CAM usage in dentistry began in the mid 1980s. Initially, this computerized technology was cumbersome and basically a novelty, requiring inordinate amounts of time to produce a viable product. This reality limited its practical usefulness to the dental laboratory setting, rather than the dental practice as time constraints precluded chairside (in the dental office) usage. As adjunctive techniques, software, and available materials improved over time, CAD/CAM usage in the dental practice setting became a reality. Thus "chairside" CAD/CAM technology affords the practitioner the ability to produce aesthetic, well-fitting prosthetic dental restorations on-site in a matter of hours.

The concept of chairside CAD/CAM restoration differs from conventional dentistry in that the prosthesis is typically luted or bonded in place the same day, whereas conventional dental prosthesis of larger size such as crowns have temporaries placed for several weeks while a dental laboratory may produce the restoration off-site. The patient returns weeks later, the temporary is removed, and then the laboratory...
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