CAD/CAM Dentistry Today

Dental patients can now get a Hollywood smile in a single day.

Nearly everyone has something about their smile that they just don’t like, and, if possible, they would like to have corrected. Now, it can be corrected in a single day using state-of-the-art dentistry.

“The new rage we have seen on television is the three-dimensional printer,” notes J. Terry Alford, DMD, who practices general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry at Advanced Dental Cosmetic Center in Bradenton. “In actuality, dentistry has had three-dimensional technology for over twenty-eight years.”

Dr. Terry Alford uses CAD/CAM dentistry to create veneers and crowns at his practice, Advanced Dental Cosmetic Center in Bradenton.

CAD/CAM dentistry uses the latest computer technology.

As computers improved, what used to be impossible has become a reality. Dentistry has taken the best of the manufacturing world by combining leading-edge computer technology, high-definition optical cameras, and high-tech milling operations to create CAD/CAM dentistry.

“With this technology, a dentist can take a picture of the patient’s teeth, send that picture to the computer to design the new tooth or teeth, then send that design to a milling chamber, where a ceramic block can be immediately milled into a new tooth,” explains Dr. Alford. “The perfection of this technology has taken years, but it has arrived and the results are stunning.

“It takes only twenty to thirty minutes to do the picture, design and milling, and it gets faster every time the computerization improves.”

Most dentists send their veneer and crown work to their local dental lab, which usually takes about two weeks to complete the construction.

According to Dr. Alford, most labs are actually using CAD/CAM technology, but many dentists have not incorporated the equipment within their offices to complement the lab. Not every case can use this technology, but most can, he adds.

A smile makeover

If a patient has had years of dental complications, fillings and broken teeth, then a complete makeover using CAD/CAM dentistry can give them a beautiful smile. Advanced Dental Cosmetic Center utilizes this technology to provide the most comprehensive dentistry available today.

The makeover process begins when the patient first consults with the dentist about makeover options. The dentist then takes some preliminary photos, molds of the mouth, and x-rays to ensure everything is healthy before the makeover is initiated. The dentist and the dentist’s lab then work on the models that are constructed from the patient’s molds. Once this is completed and the dentist is satisfied with the laboratory reconstruction of the patient’s mouth, the patient is re-appointed to learn what the dentist proposes for the patient’s new smile.

The real work now begins. The dentist with CAD/CAM technology can then prepare the teeth, take the necessary pictures of the teeth with a special intra-oral (inside the mouth) camera, then design and mill the new teeth right in the office.

“All this can be completed in a day,” states Dr. Alford. “If the patient is missing teeth or requires implants, then it will take longer, but the results are no less impressive. Overall, the function of the teeth is improved and the esthetic value exceeds the expectations of even the sharpest critic. In other words, you can have a Hollywood smile, and you can have it in one day.

“I believe that the best part of this technology is that the patient is very involved in the procedure, along with the dentist and the lab,” continues Dr. Alford. “This involvement removes a lot of concern about the outcome of their smile.”

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