How the CAD/CAM System is Used in Dentistry

How the CAD/CAM System is Used in Dentistry

Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing, known as the CAD/CAM system or CAD/CAM technology, is used by dental professionals in the field of prosthodontics to improve the design and creation of dental restorations.

CAD/CAM technology increases the speed of design and creation of dental restoration struc-tures, and it can also improve the convenience of the insertion of these structures. The precision of the CAD/CAM program facilitates the creation of restorations and appliances that would not be feasible otherwise.

At Distinctive Dentistry, we use CAD/CAM technology to create:

* Dentures

* Crowns

* Inlays and onlays

* Veneers

* Fixed bridges

* Dental implant restorations

* Orthodontic appliances


How does CAD/CAM work?

After your dentist removes decayed or broken areas of the tooth, an image or scan, called a digi-tal impression, is taken. This image conveys the data into a CAD/CAM computer where proprie-tary software generates a part for the missing areas of the tooth, through a process called “reverse engineering.”

The software produces physical structures from 3D models by sending the data to a milling ma-chine where the replacement part is carved out of a solid block of ceramic or composite resin. In order to accomplish this, the computer employs subtractive processes such as CNC milling, and additive processes, such as 3D printing.

CNC milling is a specific form of “computer numerically controlled” machining, a process that involves a rotating cutting tool that is able to move along multiple axes, and can create a variety of shapes, including slots and holes. This is “cutting edge technology.” Literally.

CAD/CAM dental restorations are milled from solid blocks of ceramic or composite resin that match the basic shade of the restored tooth and special glazes are fused to the surfaces of the dental restoration structure to match the color and appearance to the existing teeth.

With advanced training in CAD/CAM technology and over 25 years’ experience in the field of Prosthodontics, Dr. Keith Phillips is highly qualified to create state-of-the-art restorative dental structures. Dr. Phillips was the Director of the Graduate Program in Prosthodontics at the Uni-versity of Washington from 1996-2004. In 2014, he became the first dentist in Washington to earn a Certified Dental Technician credential, specializing in Implants.

In addition to outstanding technological mastery, Dr. Keith Phillips has been recognized by the International College of Dentist’s for his ethics in dentistry and was honored in 1987 for “Exem-plifying the Principles of Professionalism and Ethics.” You can be confident you will receive the highest standard of excellence when you plan your dental treatment with us at Distinctive Dentis-try.

We are conveniently located in Tacoma, Washington.

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5615 Valley Ave. E., Tacoma, WA 98424


(253) 922-6822


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