By Susan Braden
Cheap dental work does not have to sacrifice quality. Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing technology is now available to fabricate exact sizes and shapes for tooth restorations such as onlays, inlays, bridges, and crowns.
Your time is not cheap, but valuable. If your dentist uses CAD/CAM, it could save you an extra visit. Usually it takes two office visits for your dentist to gain impressions of your teeth, but with this new technology you can get impressions in just one visit.
Molded impressions are uncomfortable and often tedious. With this new technology, however, your dentist does not have to take molds of your teeth. It creates 3D digital pictures of your teeth, providing your dentist with a way to draw accurate replicas.
How cheap its cost is may vary depending on the restoration needed, where the dentist is located, the dentist’s specialty, any cosmetic preferences, the tooth replica material, and the type of dental plan or insurance you may have.
CAD/CAM may be great solution for impressions, but there are still some things this method cannot replace. This new technology cannot replace the work of dentists or lab technicians in tooth preparation and impressions. Without the dentist’s hand, a crown can’t be made accurately and will not fit, which could lead to increased risk of disease and teeth-shifting due to the open space the crown would not fill.
In previous years, dentists used metals such as amalgam and gold restoration for fillings. Dentists today, however, usually prefer to use porcelain ceramics to fill teeth because of their strength and durability. Unfortunately, this new technology does not always work with all porcelain ceramics methods.
This revolutionary development can be a help to both dentists and patients. The technology is a new way for patients to get quality from their cheap dental coverage.