Techniques used in digital dentistry are like the old axiom that, “A job worth doing is worth doing right.” Finish the right way the first time and you don’t have to apologize as you try to patch up problems. Oral health is an area where getting a job done right is critical. Mistakes are not only inconvenient for the patient, but can damage dentist-patient relationships.
Predictable results are the hallmark of today’s digital dentistry practice. One of the tools is CAD/CAM, computer assisted design and computer assisted manufacturing. CAD/CAM improves the design and creation of dental restorations, including crowns, veneers, and bridges.
The technology is being used in many dental offices including Dr. Sam Saleh of Ora Dentistry Spa in Beverly Hills. Dr. Saleh took an innovative approach in the design of his office several years ago, placing a premium on patient comfort. Among the times he utilizes CAD/CAM is when he’s working on a crown. The result is flawless results in the same day.
A digitized scan of the tooth is sent to an on-site milling or 3-D printing machine to carve the crown from a block of porcelain, or print it from resin while the patient relaxes in the waiting room. After a little finishing and preparation work, the crown is ready for fitting, and the satisfied patient is heading back to work.
An article on Dentistryiq.com reveals that one in 10 dentists don’t use much of what digital dentistry offers even if they’ve invested in the equipment. The learning curve is considered too steep and they’re busy running their practices. The U.S. is considered the world’s largest and most technically advanced dental market, but, as the article points out, about “8% to 10% of dental surgeries have in-house CAD/CAM facilities.”
Many veteran dentists won’t likely learn the technology before they retire. It will take a new generation of graduating students to increase the adoption rate of digital technology. The first dental school in the nation to integrate digital dentistry in its curriculum was Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine and that recently occurred in 2014.
Meanwhile, Dr. Sam Saleh who was educated at London’s Kings College and is known as the “dentist to stars” continues integrating technology that has lasting value to his patients. The convenience factor and high level results gives him a following and edge in the highly competitive Beverly Hills and West LA market.
Digital dentistry isn’t just a press of a button and results are automatic. The tools and techniques, though, enhance a dentist’s capabilities and puts the patients at ease, knowing a positive outcome is predictable.