Dental patients enjoy the benefits of advanced technologyBy Dr. Michaela McKenzie
The camera offers a gentle, non-invasive approach to being able to take pictures of the patient’s full upper arch, full lower arch and their bite. Sirona, a German-based company offers the dentists the ability to take quick, easy, and precise digital impressions. This means that rather than having someone at the dental office place large impression trays in your mouth, full of goopy impression material, and having to wait while it sets up, you have a small slim line intraoral camera take images of your teeth. The camera is very accurate and it offers a much quicker, neater, and more comfortable alternative to taking impressions.
The camera is called the Omnicam and it is a trademark of CEREC. Their CAD/CAM technology uses digital mapping that charts the inside of the patient’s mouth accurately. The images of the patient’s mouth show a stunning three-dimensional model displayed in full color on the monitor – showing the teeth, the gum tissue, and the soft tissue in their natural shades.
What’s the benefit? This image can then be electronically forwarded to a multitude of places: a milling machine in the dental office, to other dental labs, or to orthodontic laboratories. The laboratories can then fabricate very accurate full sets of clear Invisalign braces, retainers, mouth guards, sleep apnea devices, crowns, bridges, implant crowns and more.
In some offices, the dentist has the milling machine right in their office and can make custom, metal-free, all ceramic crowns while the patient waits. This is so much quicker and more pleasant for the patient.
Gone are the days when the patient must have their tooth numbed, prepped for a crown, and covered with a temporary crown and then had to wait for a month while the permanent crown is made by the dental lab and mailed back to the dental office. Having to go back in, get numbed again, removing the temporary crown, and cementing on the permanent one doesn’t serve the patient very well. Often, the teeth have shifted over time and then the crowns don’t fit properly and need to be adjusted.
Using CEREC technology, however, the patient can come to the dental office with a broken tooth, have their tooth prepped for a crown, scanned with the camera, the CEREC Milling Machine mills the crowns without delay, and the crown is made while they wait and cemented in the patient’s mouth.
This is a huge benefit for helping patients who are busy, who travel in from out of town, or who don’t want to have to fight the Atlanta traffic to come back to the dental office. This high-tech solution makes a more comfortable and customer service-oriented visit to the dentist.