Advancements in CAD/CAM technology: Options for practical implementation.
Journal of prosthodontic research. 2016;60(2):72-84.
The purpose of this review is to present a comprehensive review of the current published literature investigating the various methods and techniques for scanning, designing, and fabrication of CAD/CAM generated restorations along with detailing the new classifications of CAD/CAM technology.
I performed a review of a PubMed using the following search terms "CAD/CAM, 3D printing, scanner, digital impression, and zirconia". The articles were screened for further relevant investigations. The search was limited to articles written in English, published from 2001 to 2015. In addition, a manual search was also conducted through articles and reference lists retrieved from the electronic search and peer-reviewed journals.
CAD/CAM technology has advantages including digital impressions and models, and use of virtual articulators. However, the implementation of this technology is still considered expensive and requires highly trained personnel. Currently, the design software has more applications including complete dentures and removable partial denture frameworks. The accuracy of restoration fabrication can be best attained with 5 axes milling units. The 3D printing technology has been incorporated into dentistry, but does not include ceramics and is limited to polymers. In the future, optical impressions will be replaced with ultrasound impressions using ultrasonic waves, which have the capability to penetrate the gingiva non-invasively without retraction cords and not be affected by fluids.
The coming trend for most practitioners will be the use of an acquisition camera attached to a computer with the appropriate software and the capability of forwarding the image to the laboratory.