Digital Scanners & Milling

Digital scanning and milling in dentistry are also known as CAD / CAM technology. Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) make it possible for dentists to perform intricate procedures faster, more easily and precisely.

CAD technology can digitally map your teeth and gums, showing you what corrections are needed aesthetically and functionally. Scanners such as the iTero can show you what your smile would look like after Invisalign and immediately send your impression to the lab to print your custom aligners.

CAM technology, or milling, creates tooth restorations such as crowns, veneers, inlays, onlays and bridges, from a single block of ceramics. This makes the final product more precise compared to traditional methods and usually requires only a single visit for the patient.


What does CAD / CAM technology involve?

CEREC and 3Shape are just some of the digital devices which use CAD / CAM technology to produce restorations out of a single block of ceramic in just one visit.

This type of dentistry involves three simple steps:

1. Taking a digital impression or 3D scan of your teeth using a digital device.
2. Designing the restoration or appliance on the digital device, enabling you to see what your new tooth, or teeth, will look like.
3. Finally, the restoration will be manufactured using a milling or 3D printing machine.


What benefits does CAD / CAM dentistry provide patients?

Traditionally the process takes days and even weeks to complete. Once a mould is made, it has to be sent to the lab to manufacture, and then the patient has to come back into the practice to have them fitted. If the restoration isn't perfect, then the process starts again. This process can become an annoyance on the patient in terms of time, money and effort. Digital scanning and milling offer you the ability to have this procedure done in just a few hours. Other benefits include:

  • No messy or goopy dental impressions using liquid plaster.
  • Restorations are done in a matter of hours, rather than weeks.
  • The accuracy of the fit is improved.
  • Files are stored digitally for future reference.

National Dental Care is excited to offer digital dentistry and milling at selected National Dental Care practices.

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