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News / July 22, 2014

High-tech dentistry making waves with Irish public

by Guy Hiscott

A recent article in The Irish Times has lauded the high level of precision achieved by CAD/CAM technology within dentistry.

The article, written by professor of meteorology at the University of Dublin and blogger Peter Lynch, describes the author’s recent encounter with CAD/CAM dentistry after having had two crowns inserted.

Peter describes the mechanics behind CAD/CAM dentistry, explaining how a ‘high-speed camera’ is used to capture digital images of the tooth at ‘1,000 frames per second’.

He continues: ‘The images are combined, enhanced and processed to provide an animation of the dental arch. […] Intense numerical computation is involved, so a powerful computer system is required.’

Peter refers to the milling process as ‘fantastically accutate, with errors of less than 25 microns.’

He compares today’s high-tech digital dentistry with the ‘conventional’ method of moulding a tooth for a crown. He describes the long process involved with the fabrication of the crowns, which often meant the patient ‘had to wait a few weeks before the job could be completed.’

‘Now it is done on the spot by CAD/CAM,’ Peter says.

Despite applauding digital dentistry and the Cerec system, Peter concludes: ‘… the expertise of the dentist is essential to finish the job.’

Speaking to Irish Dentistry, Peter says: ‘Digital dentistry is a wonderful example of the synergy between different research areas. It is a great example of the benefits of advancing technology, where progress in computer visualisation and precision engineering are providing patients with better, faster results.’

Read the full article here.