How To Make Computer-Aided Repairs To Your Smile In Minutes

Posted on: 15 December 2014

In the past, getting a new crown, veneer, or other tooth repair could take weeks. You'd go to the dentist with a problem, the dentist would identify the problem and a suitable solution—which would take time and several appointments to design, mold, and install to perfection.

While you waited, you'd have to manage with the pain or cosmetic issue that had originally brought you to the dentist in the first place.

But now, the same computer software that's used to design and manufacture virtually every electronic product you have in your home is in dentists' offices, ready to make customize dental work for you so you can have everything done in one appointment. Called computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), this software lets dentists scan your mouth, make a virtual model and create a new crown or veneer. It can all be done in the office, often in just an hour or two.

There are two main systems that do this work that your dentist can purchase and be trained in:

  • CEREC uses a digital infrared camera to scan the problem tooth or teeth, 3-D design software to create a virtual crown or veneer and a milling unit to create the physical restoration out of a durable composite material.
  • E4D Dentist System uses a laser to scan your mouth, but is otherwise similar to CEREC. The advantage is that you won't have to use a special reflective powder on your teeth that the infrared system requires.

So now that you know how the technology works, here are some of the pros and cons of using same-day dentistry for your dental restoration.

Pros of Same Day Dentistry

  • Time savings! This is the big one. You won't have to take more time off work for more dental appointments and everything can be accomplished in one day.
  • Less anesthetic. You'll only have to have one local anesthetic to prepare and install the crown or veneer, not several over many appointments.
  • No temporary installations or "living with the pain."
  • Modern technology to scan your teeth. No more of those plaster-of-Paris type molds that can gag you or make you uncomfortable.

Cons of Same Day Dentistry

  • Cost. Same day dentistry technology doesn't come cheap. It may be that you'll come out about the same once you consider the cost of several appointments compared to one day of work.
  • Appearance. Some people don't like the look of the material used in same-day dentistry. It can look more opaque than traditional materials and may not be quite as detailed.

If you believe you need a crown, bridge, veneer, or other dental restoration, talk to your local dental referral service to find a dental professional who uses same-day dentistry, such as Ashton Randal P DDS.