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It was once a very complex, lengthy, and arduous process for dentists to manufacture tooth restorations. Not only did dentists often find it challenging to get the size of the restoration right, they also had difficulty at times getting the color of the restoration to match that of the existing natural teeth.
This has all changed thanks to computer technology. In todays world of dentistry, when a tooth needs to be restored, Houston cosmetic dentists can use the CAD/CAM system to manufacture tooth replacements. The letters CAD/CAM actually stand for computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing. The actual manufacturing of tooth replacements is done in a CAD/CAM milling machine.
This unique machine is can custom-design and to manufacture any number of cosmetic dental materials. These materials include teeth-colored restorations, dental crowns, dental onlays, dental inlays, and porcelain veneers.
Because of the precision that this sophisticated machine is capable of, CAD/CAM technology now accounts for some of the very best cosmetic dental solutions available to patients today.
There are a number of key advantages to working with a Houston cosmetic dentist who has access to either a CAD/CAM SYSTEM or CAD/CAM laboratory.
The cosmetic dental materials they produce are extremely accurate.
The bulk of the tooths structure is left intact because only a minimal amount of tooth preparation is necessary.
Tooth restoration colors look identical to natural teeth color.
The CAD/CAM system involves several steps:
The area surrounding the restoration is numbed in order to make the patient feel comfortable. A rubber dam is placed in the patients mouth to protect the throat from any dental debris that may be created while removing plaque and decay.
Plaque and decay are then removed, and the tooth is shaped with a dental handpiece.
The dentist creates a mold of a tooth to be sent to a CAD/CAM system dental lab.
The dentist sends this data to the lab where the CAD/CAM machine is located. When the mold arrives at the lab, the optical, infrared camera in the CAD-CAM system records the details of the mold and creates a virtual, digital image of the teeth. This image is identical to the dimensions of the patients natural teeth.
The lab will then place the specified material into the milling machine. Computer software now uses the detailed image to shape the material into the desired custom-fitted restoration.
Cosmetic dentists work with patients to determine the very best restoration for a particular tooth problem. They also match the color of that restoration to the existing natural teeth of the patient.
When you return to the office, we will fit you with the new restoration. At this time, we will add any necessary custom coloring and bond the restoration in place with cement. We will check your bite and make any final adjustments, then polish the restoration to make it blend with the surrounding teeth.
Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont, Midland and Houston, Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic dentistry services.