Beuer F, Schweiger J, Edelhoff D.
Digital dentistry: an overview of recent developments for CAD/CAM generated restorations.
Br Dent J. 2008;204(9):505-11.
As in many other industries, production stages are increasingly becoming automated in dental technology. As the price of dental laboratory work has become a major factor in treatment planning and therapy, automation could enable more competitive production in high-wage areas like Western Europe and the USA. Advances in computer technology now enable cost-effective production of individual pieces. Dental restorations produced with computer assistance have become more common in recent years. Most dental companies have access to CAD/CAM procedures, either in the dental practice, the dental laboratory or in the form of production centres. The many benefits associated with CAD/CAM generated dental restorations include: the access to new, almost defect-free, industrially prefabricated and controlled materials; an increase in quality and reproducibility and also data storage commensurate with a standardised chain of production; an improvement in precision and planning, as well as an increase in efficiency. As a result of continual developments in computer hardware and software, new methods of production and new treatment concepts are to be expected, which will enable an additional reduction in costs. Dentists, who will be confronted with these techniques in the future, require certain basic knowledge if they are to benefit from these new procedures. This article gives an overview of CAD/CAM-technologies and systems available for dentistry today.