Digital dentistry: what is it and what are its uses

What is digital dentistry?

Digital Dentistry is a new area of modern Odontology that uses innovative digital technologies and image processing, radiographic systems with the innovative construction of new teeth.

What is it exactly?

When we talk about creating a digital clinic, we mean that our work flow will become digital. We can do this if we have three tools:

  • Full X-ray units
  • Scanner and intraoral cameras each with its own software
  • Dental structure production and restoration equipment

Practically each daily task can be completed integrally through digital processes from the moment the patient enters the clinic until the moment that the treatment is completed.

Applications in the work flow:

Evaluation: With a 3D X-Ray we can have a more precise view of any type of lesions to the bone, crowns, and of the tooth root. With the intraoral camera we can efficiently have an overview of the state of each tooth making it easier for the patient to understand the damage and verifying that what the doctor is saying is true. By doing so, it makes us reliable, trustworthy and improves doctor-patient communication.

Implantology: We analyze the patient’s CT scan and decide where to place teeth. Thanks to this (and not the other way around) we will decide how many implants are necessary and which is the ideal placement and angulation. With this information we create a surgical plan which will be used during the procedure. We verify that there is sufficient bone area and we make sure not to touch a nerve. Computer guided surgeries help improve the precision when placing an implant in accordance to the forces that the implant will have to endure and according to patient anatomy.

Prosthetics, restoration and dental esthetics: measurements are taken with an oral scanner which allows us to replicate the patient’s mouth in 3D format. From here, Computer-aided Design (CAD)/Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) technology, which designs and constructs through a computer, provide greater precision and accuracy. Craftsmanship is not present here although it continues to be necessary to manually retouch zirconium so that it replicates patient anatomy. Besides, patients have a whole new experience once molding pastes are replaced by oral scanners.

Digital dentistry gives us predictability, confidence, precision and helps the patient to save time during treatments and in the dentist’s chair.

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