Dental CAD/CAM - Phoenix

Faster, More Accurate Results

For many patients who require tooth restoration, the prospect of returning again and again to the dentist for fitting appointments while wearing a temporary crown is unappealing. If this describes you or a loved one, schedule an appointment with AZ Family Dental and find out how our CAD/CAM dentistry services fit patients in the Greater Phoenix, AZ, area with same-day dental crowns.

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CAD/CAM Dentistry and Same-Day Crowns

Due to recent advances in technology, dentists who once relied on effective but slow lab-based construction practices can now leverage the power of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing, known in the dental field as CAD/CAM. Although CAD/CAM technologies can apply to a diverse range of industries, at AZ Family Dental, this applies specifically to the design and construction of same-day crowns.

During the same-day crown process, one of our dentists takes a photo of the affected tooth and sends it to a proprietary software program called CEREC. CEREC, also known as Ceramic Reconstruction, uses the saved 3D image to design and build a permanent porcelain crown. The crown milling process occurs on-site and takes only a few minutes instead of the two weeks usually required by an off-site laboratory.

Once the mill completes the crown, our dentist then fits and applies the CEREC crown directly to the tooth using dental cement. For many patients, the entire visit lasts about an hour and a half.

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How CAD/CAM Works

During the CAD portion of the patient’s visit, the computer analyzes the affected tooth and surrounding teeth and designs an appropriately sized and shaped crown, under the direction of our dentist. Once the dentist is satisfied with the design, he sends the three-dimensional image to a special milling machine that sculpts an exact model of the crown. The mill constructs the crown through the use of CAM.

There are a variety of advantages to CEREC. First, because a computer program designs and constructs the crown, greater accuracy is assured. Time-consuming molds, designed by humans and created in an off-site lab, are no longer necessary. The need to wear a temporary crown is eliminated because the permanent CEREC crown is created, crafted, and fitted in just one visit, thus saving time and stress.


What is CAD/CAM used for in dentistry?

CAD/CAM (computer-aided-design and computer-aided-manufacturing) is a field of dentistry and prosthodontics that utilizes computer technology to improve the design and creation of dental restorations like prostheses: crowns, inlays and onlays, veneers, and bridges.

What are the three phases of CAD/CAM in dentistry?

The three phases of CAD/CAM dentistry include Data acquisition, CAD for restoration design, and CAM for restoration fabrication. Each piece of the technology works to create exact shapes and sizes for dental restorations.

What are the cons of CAD/CAM dentistry?

CAD/CAM dentistry relies on computer technology, so any technical issues, such as power loss, viruses, and hacking, can impact the process. Likewise, it’s a complicated field that requires substantial expertise to understand and operate. The initial costs of purchasing a system can reach upwards of $112,000, making it an expensive choice for dental restoration technology.

What is the difference between CAD and CAM dentistry?

CAD dentistry is for restoration design (computer-assisted design), and CAM dentistry focuses on restoration fabrication (computer-aided manufacturing). CAD creates the design of the products, while CAM manages the machines.

Why is CAD/CAM dentistry necessary?

CAD/CAM rises above other forms of dental restoration technology by doing everything digitally, eliminating material waste, and increasing speed and accuracy. It’s the most efficient form of dental manufacturing in both the planning and executing stages and will continue to grow as the emerging form of dental restoration creation.