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Smile for the (CAD) Camera: Digital Dentistry has Arrived

If you are old enough, then you may remember the days before digital photos, where you would take your roll of film to a photoshop before returning after a week to pick up your stills.

Traditionally in dentistry, if you need any form of dental prostheses (implants, crowns, bridges, dentures and veneers), then you too would have to have multiple visits to your dentist before your final treatment is done.

But why does it take this long?

The old way: Let’s say you need a crown

A dentist will first identify that a crown is an appropriate treatment for your tooth. Following tooth preparation (your dental professional will prepare the site for restoration by removing all decay or portions of the structurally unsound tooth), he or she will then take moulds of the remaining tooth, and send away the impressions and any findings to a technician who would work on this before sending this back to the dentist. In the meantime, the dentist would have fashioned a ‘temporary’ crown for you to use (often with hard-to-follow advice like ‘try not to chew too much on it’). Needless to say, a traditional temporary crown comes with a substantial fear of breaking it before your replacement has arrived!

Eventually, you would go for your follow-up appointment, have the temporary removed, and then the new crown cemented into place. This is a long and convoluted process that requires a lot of time ‘in the chair’ as well as numerous visits and extra work for everyone involved.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Advances in digital dental medicine and training mean that not only can this procedure be completed in just one day, but the results are better than ever.

The new way: Digital Dentistry and CAD CAM

CAD and CAM stand for computer-aided-design and computer-aided-manufacturing and are one of the most advanced processes in restorative dentistry available today. There are many benefits of using this process outlined below.

Speed and Convenience:

The advanced on-site equipment used means that a suitably qualified dentist will be able to manufacture your prosthetic in-house and on-site the same day as he prepares the tooth. This means no sending away or long wait times, no temporaries and of course, no need for messy moulds. So how did we get from A to B?

Fit and Aesthetics – Making a good impression:

Using an optical camera, a 3D image of the mouth and teeth is made, which is in turn used to create virtual impressions. Using Computer Animated Design and Manufacturing, your dentist can now create the best-fitting prosthetics possible from the outset without the need for temporary crowns.

Design and Manufacture

Once the perfect design has been created, the prosthetic is then milled (sort of like being sculpted) from either a block of ceramic or composite resin that shares the same basic shade of the surrounding teeth. The restoration is then stained or glazed to look more natural before being polished. The aim is to have a perfect fitting and perfect looking tooth that appears natural for your mouth and is functionally sound and comfortable.


Within just a couple of hours (specific duration depends on the complexity of the restoration) your permanent prosthesis will be ready to be cemented to the remaining tooth, completing and restoring your smile!

Does your dentist offer same-day prostheses and digital dentistry?

Digital dentistry is an advanced and existing technology available today. Fast, convenient, super realistic and accurate, there is no reason for multiple, time-consuming visits to your dentist. Same day prosthetics are the new normal. Insist on it, and connect with Proud Smile who deliver this service on a daily basis.