Dentists Use Computers to Make Dental Implants
Technology has even invaded the dental industry. One of its advantages is the creation of dental implants. The Oral Surgery DC Team
When traditional dentistry and reconstruction failed, some people went high-tech.
It's the stuff of science fiction, now showing up in dental offices.
Dentists and prosthodontists are using computers to make teeth, implants, and dentures.
It's a process called Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing, or CAD CAM.
Irene Hasal has been through the wringer with her teeth. She had many procedures to fix problems and finally got implants. Within a month though, her teeth were breaking.
Then, Dr. Mamaly Reshad, a prosthodontist at Anacapa Dental Art Institute, told her about CAD CAM. A computer scans the patient's mouth to make a custom image of what's needed.
"We put it inside the computer like a cartoon, an avatar, and from
there, we create a tooth, a virtual tooth," Dr. Reshad said. "The virtual tooth becomes a real tooth through a manufacturing process."
A computer-aided milling machine makes teeth out of a
block of ceramic or composite resin.
Dr. Reshad used CAD CAM for Irene's whole procedure.
It helped him find the best placement for her implants, and to make the prosthesis.
The CAD CAM process takes much less time than a conventional procedure, which can take weeks. Irene's case was complicated and took almost a year, but CAD CAM can do one to two teeth in a morning.
"Now because it's going through this avatar, the computer, it can be
done almost instantaneously," Dr. Reshad said. "The same day. At least within 2 hours."
It brought a perfect smile to Irene's face.
"I can do anything I want now," Irene said. "They fit great, they're beautiful and my face is the proper shape. So I couldn't be happier."
Dr. Reshad says on average, the procedure costs about 30% less than the conventional method, although it is not typically covered by insurance.
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