Dentistry is much like life; it is in constant change.
This article will demonstrate a case in which CAD/CAM and 3-dimensional (3-D) cone beam computed technology (CBCT) technologies were used to complement each other.
CAD/CAM technology in dentistry allows the clinician to capture an image of the prepared tooth, virtually design a restoration of choice, and then to have the restoration milled for final finishing and patient delivery.
Three-dimensional CBCT involves using x-ray technology to allow the clinician to see the image in 3-D planes. In the author’s opinion, the diagnostic ability of 3-D CBCT could become the standard of care in the future. With this technology, we can place the correct implant size, both in length and width, for the amount of available bone. The next step in 3-D CBCT is the ability to transfer this information to a surgical guide. These guides can be secured in the oral cavity by teeth or osseous structures. After securing the guide, it will act to control the placement of the implant into actual bone as it was placed on the 3-D CBCT image. The placement can not only control the angle but the depth of the implant.
By combining these technologies, doctors can not only place an implant with guided control of depth and lateral angles, but can use CAD/CAM to design and have the crown fabricated before an implant is placed.
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