Breaking Out of the Mold: Digital Dentistry

Digital dentistry 1

Dental technology is making walking into the dentist office much less of a chore. At Biscayne Dental Center, we use the newest and greatest technologies to make services convenient and comfortable. Digital dentistry is pushing the boundaries. With new imaging and modeling software coming down the pipeline, creating custom appliances has just gotten a whole lot easier.

Dentures, crowns, and bridges use to take many visits to be designed and installed. With new digital technology, however, the time between a first visit and a completed dental appliance can be cut down significantly.

No More Molds

Digital Dentistry 3Most dentists still use traditional molds for sculpting and creating crowns, dentures, and bridges to get as close to a natural match as possible. Lately, digital imaging programs have been increasingly used to create a 3D mold very quickly with increased precision. The new technology was developed from CAD and CAM technologies most often used in product design and architecture.

The process of using molds usually took at least one week for dentists to have finished products delivered back to them. With new digital dentistry technology, crowns can actually be created in a single visit. After digital imaging is completed, crowns and dentures can be crafted in-office.

How it Works

This type of digital dentistry works by using an intra-oral camera (much like an endoscope) to take 3D images of the mouth. These images are then analyzed by the program to create the most ideal virtual plan for the appliance. Dentists then use their expertise to tweak the design before sending it to the mill.

Next, the dental professional sends the design to a 3D printing/milling machine that cuts (with complete precision) into a ceramic block. These can then be fitted to the patient. This isn’t the only digital revolution to make its way into dentistry. Check out some more of the digital dentistry technologies below:

  • Digital dentures (easy duplication for replacement appliances)
  • Same-day crowns with digital design and automated milling
  • CT or cone-beam computed tomography
  • Digital radiography

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