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What is CEREC CAD/CAM Dentistry? Why Should I Consider It When Choosing a Dentist?

Mitchell Kim, D.D.S. explains how this cutting-edge technology can make dental restoration faster, easier, and more comfortable.

What is CEREC CAD/CAM dentistry?
CEREC CAD/CAM dentistry is the process through which dental restorations are fabricated utilizing an HD intra-oral video scanner, computer-aided design software, and precision milling equipment. In our office we are able to create crowns, partial crowns, implant restorations, bridges, implant surgical guides, and veneers without the use of a dental lab. Many of the dental restorations that are delivered today from a dental lab utilize the same technology.

What are the benefits of a dentist having this technology?
The biggest complaints about having a crown placed are the dentist having to take multiple goopy impressions and patients having to tolerate a temporary crown for weeks that causes sensitivity and falls out constantly. Patients also don’t like making multiple trips to the dental office and being anesthetized several times to complete one dental restoration. In our office we are able to eliminate these steps utilizing CEREC technology. We have incorporated a completely digital dental workflow in our office allowing us to streamline our efficiency and increase patient comfort while completing many dental restorations in a single visit.

What type of training does a dentist need to offer this technology to patients?
There is a basic amount of training that is provided to every dentist who integrates CAD/CAM technology into his or her practice. But a dentist should not stop their education there. For patients to receive the full benefits of being treated with a CAD/CAM system, every dentist should complete an advanced curriculum covering multiple aspects of the technology. Don’t be afraid to ask what additional training has been completed to ensure that office is the right fit.

What questions should a patient ask their dentist about regarding CAD/CAM technology?
CAD/CAM technology can mean different things to different dentists. Therefore, it’s important to ask your dentist how CAD/CAM is used in their office. Are the dental restorations only being scanned for digitally and then being sent to a dental lab for fabrication? If the dental restorations are manufactured in the office are they completed in one visit? Is the CAD/CAM system in your dentist’s office capable of completing the dental restoration you need? Because there are various CAD/CAM systems available to dentists, it’s important to find a dentist that has the ability to fulfill your needs as a patient.

What are the latest developments/technologies for this advancement?
Our office recently added Orthophos SL Ai 3D CBCT X-ray imaging to help with sleep apnea screening as well as a completely digital dental implant planning process. A 3-D CBCT X-ray scan helps us to determine if there is adequate bone levels and bone dimensions for proper placement of a dental implant. We are also able to assess a patient’s airway to determine if sleep apnea may be a concern. This process once required a referral to an outside 3-D imaging center and additional time on the patient’s part. Now the entire process can be completed in our office. An additional benefit of our scanner is the low dosage of radiation required to complete an X-ray. It only takes a few seconds and has the same amount of radiation as eating a single banana. We have also added the Sirona SpeedFire furnace to our office. It is a very specialized piece of equipment that heats porcelain to 3000º F and back to room temperature in approximately 15 minutes. This technology has allowed us to increase the types of porcelain available for creating crowns, bridges, and implant restorations.

About Dr. Kim
Dr. Mitchell Kim has been practicing in Dallas-Fort Worth for the past 13 years offering the most advanced dental care available. He attends continuing education courses on a monthly basis that cover a variety of topics including CAD/CAM dentistry to stay at the forefront of dental care. He currently serves as a visiting faculty member for CerecDoctors in Scottsdale, AZ, an education center focused on the advancement of dentists utilizing Cerec CAD/CAM dentistry. He is also a certified trainer across the U.S. and Canada for Cerec dentists and is a Cerec software beta-tester for Dentsply Sirona. Dr. Kim has been name a Best Dentist in D Magazine in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

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