Every profession owes most of its advances to computers. This applies to the dental field too. Conventional methods are fast dieing out and are now being replaced by new digital techniques.
Digital dentistry refers to the use of dental technologies or devices that incorporates digital or computer-controlled components to carry out dental procedures rather than using mechanical or electrical tools. The use of digital dentistry can make carrying out dental procedures more efficient than using mechanical tools, both for restorative as diagnostic purposes. Used as a way to facilitate dental treatments and propose new ways to meet rising patient demands.
Areas of digital dentistry:
- Digital radiography — intra oral and extra oral, including cone beam computed tomography (CBCT)
- Computer-aided implant dentistry — including design and fabrication of surgical guides
- CAD/CAM and intraoral imaging — both laboratory- and clinician-controlled
- Caries detection and shade matching
With the introduction of CBCT or cone beam computational tomography, dental radiology has benefited greatly. As opposed to conventional CT scans, this three- dimensional data is acquired using lower radiation doses. Treatment can then be planned using specific dental implant software and the data is used to design and produce a surgical guide. The surgical guide is used to place implants accurately in the exact position that these have been planned and in less clinical time. Higher precision and improved overall results. The advantages are great.
A large field of digital dentistry lies within CAD CAM or computer-aided dentistry and computer-aided manufacturing. This includes the production of crowns and bridges and the fabrication of surgical guides aiding implant placement. Clinical dental chair-side CAD CAM equipment is used to take digital scan of teeth producing a 3-dimensional image. With the help of specific dental software, these images are then used to design the crowns and bridges. The design can be discussed and shown to the patient and modified to the patient’s wishes. Once the design is agreed on, the type of material is chosen.
The data is then sent to a milling unit which cuts or mills the block into the designed tooth saved on the software. Thus, the crown or bridge is ready in minutes. This method of delivery allows for the same day/appointment service of completing the treatment.
Digital dentistry offers patients a quick, custom-made patient-specific solutions using only the latest in dental technology.
At ProDent Care, we are happy to announce that we have implemented this latest technology.