When I graduated from dental school I never imagined that I would be making porcelain crowns and delivering them to my patients the same day. The making of a crown was a time-consuming procedure that required a lot of laboratory work hours and many days to complete.
Today, thanks to Cad/Cam technology I can produce a porcelain crown that is three times stronger than the old porcelain fused to metal crowns, and they look very close to natural teeth.
But not many dentists can offer this technology because of the high price of the equipment. Only about 15 percent of dentists have the equipment, so the large majority of them still rely on a commercial laboratory for their daily crown work. The high cost is not a one-time expenditure since there are ongoing expenses in education, training and maintenance, and we all fear that the technology advances so fast that in around five years the technology will become obsolete and it will be necessary to invest in new equipment again.
When I incorporated this technology in my office over ten years ago, one of the things that I became aware of was that it made me be more careful when preparing the teeth, since now I had to not only make the preparation correctly, but also fabricate a crown with the same accuracy and detail as the laboratory technician and, if there was something wrong with the restoration, I could not blame myself, so I am thankful because the technology has made me a better dentist.
Dental laboratories have integrated this Cad/Cam technology because of the labor and time savings that they afford, and all dentists use these Cad/Cam products. But In-office Cad/Cam dentistry is not something we need.
Dentists have already learned techniques for doing predictable crown and bridge procedures with conventional impression systems. This delegates the fabrication of the restoration to the dental laboratory, which is exactly what most dentists want. Most dentists prefer not to be bothered with the additional time and effort necessary to fabricate a crown. However, for those of us who are tinkerers, who are able to learn graphic design software, who like predictability in margins, contacts and occlusion, we can offer our patients the convenience of having a crown completed in a single visit, and they love it!
If you have questions about crowns in one visit and would like to contact us, please call our office at (561) 968 6022.
Copyright 2018. Carlos A. Boudet, DDS DICOI. All Rights Reserved.