Dentistry Goes High Tech with Digital Tools
A custom-fitted cap is required in order to cover or restore a cracked or broken tooth. The cap restores the tooth’s strength, shape and appearance. In the past, a model of the tooth is made using a mold and then the impression is sent to a dental laboratory to create the crown. The dentist will place a temporary restoration and the patient must come back for a next session when the temporary cap is removed and the new crown is cemented.
Technology has evolved and now more dentists have been utilizing a faster option. They use computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing technologies to produce crowns within a single session.
With the new method, a digital scan of the mouth is made with the use of an intra-oral camera. Then a 3D image of the gums and teeth will appear on the computer screen. The shape and size of the damaged tooth will be considered by the program and will suggest the dimension of the crown. The dentist will modify the virtual restoration and send the data to a milling machine that creates the crown from a solid ceramic block. It will then be ready to be placed to the patient’s tooth. The entire process will take place while the patient waits.
Some dentists offer the same-day crown or crown while you wait service. It is one of the advancements in digital dentistry. Other new digital dental services include digital radiography and digital dentures.
Some dental offices have full digital integration of clinical care, patient communication and diagnostics. These advancements in technologies improved the experience for patients. There are special lasers that can now be used in procedures from placing filling and detecting cavities, to placing dental implants. They remove the need for drills, scalpels and sutures in dental clinics.