A dentist used to need at least two weeks to prepare a patient’s crown. Preparing a crown was a tedious process that entailed having to make the model tooth that would be used to the damaged tooth, replacing the space of the damaged tooth with a temporary replacement and sending that model tooth to a dental laboratory to construct a crown. Once the crown was finished being made at the dental laboratory, it would be sent back to the dentist’s office for the patient to pick up at their second visit.
Dentistry is now moving forward and advancing their practice by incorporating technology. Crowns can now be made within two hours by using computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing technologies. With an intra-oral camera, dentists are able to digitally scan the mouth and produce a 3-D image of the patient’s teeth and gums on a computer screen. Computer software is then able to determine the ideal dimensions for a crown, specific to the patient. The computer software bases its design for the ideal crown on the position, size and shape of the damaged tooth. The dentist may then make final improvements or changes to the computer-made crown design. The “milling” machine then reads the final design to carve a cement block into the desired crown.
With technology, dentists are advancing their practice. Using computer technologies to design and made crowns have saved dentists and patients lots of time.