A Brief Introduction Into The World Of CAD/CAM Dentistry

A Brief Introduction Into The World Of CAD/CAM Dentistry

Posted by DR. PENG Mar 11,2021

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Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) have been around for decades before foraying into the field of dentistry in the mid-1980s to revolutionize the process of dental prosthetics and restoration. In effect, CAD/CAM dentistry is the software that enables dental professionals to provide advanced dental care to patients using computer imagery.

How is it different from Conventional Restoration Processes

CAD/CAM based restorations create and bond prosthetics such as crowns all in the same day. On the other hand, conventional prosthesis requires the use of temporary solutions wherein a dentist takes a mold of your oral structure to design a crown in a laboratory. Typically, this method takes several days. CAD/CAM dentistry involves the use of an optical camera that takes a digital picture of the mouth before converting it into a 3D image, which will then be transformed into a software program to create a computer-generated cast.

Here’s what a step-by-step process looks like: 

  • An optical scanner scans the mouth and captures the intraoral and extraoral condition.
  • A software then turns it into a life-size 3D scale model to base the design of the prosthesis on.
  • The captured data is transformed into a finished product with the aid of technologies like 3D printing.

Advantages and Disadvantages of CAD/CAM Dentistry

As with anything in life, CAD/CAM dentistry comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at a few of them:


  • Efficient: CAD/CAM dentistry brings an element of quickness and efficiency into the treatment process.
  • Less Invasive: In a post-Covid, minimal contact is appreciated. The computer-based technology allows for minimal contact.


  • There is only one disadvantage to CAD/CAM dentistry as it involves the use of cutting-edge technology, which tends to come at a high cost.

Bottom line, CAD/CAM dentistry has taken the dental professional into the future, albeit at a high cost. But, given how rapidly the industry is adopting the technology at large, the economy of scale is going to bring costs down in the coming years.


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