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Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing in Digital Dentistry

What is CAD/CAM Dentistry?

Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), also known as CAD/CAM technology, enhance the design and creation of dental restorations such as crowns, veneers, inlays, onlays and bridges from a single block of ceramic.

With a conventional restoration, a temporary filling is placed inside a patient’s mouth for one to several weeks while the lab produces the restoration. After waiting one to several weeks, the patient returns to the office to have the temporary filling removed and the restoration bonded in place.

CAD/CAM dentistry or chairside CAD/CAM systems enable a clinician to design and create a restoration in less than an hour and bond it on the same day.

How does CAD/CAM Work?

A complete digital workflow for chairside CAD/CAM systems follows
a three-step process:

  1. Scan
  2. Design
  3. Produce

First, the clinicians must correct the decayed or broken areas of the tooth. Next, they will take a digital impression of the affected tooth and surrounding teeth. These images are turned into a digital model by special CAD/CAM software and the restoration is created virtually.

Finally, the software sends this information to a milling machine where the restoration is milled. Then, the restoration will be adjusted in the patient’s mouth and bonded in place. The entire chairside CAD/CAM dental process can be completed in about 40 minutes to two and a half hours.

CAD/CAM Workflow

Generally Asked Questions

Looking to learn more about digital dentistry? Read through our frequently asked questions
to better understand how CAD/CAM dentistry can help your practice!

The most significant advantage offered by CAD/CAM technology is improved accuracy. By utilizing this software, outsourcing crowns and other restorative options to the lab will no longer be required. As such, the entire dental restoration process can be completed in one office visit and reduce the need for a temporary restoration.

It’s no secret that there is a learning curve when converting to one-visit restorations. As with anything new, it requires effort to become familiar with the ins and outs of the equipment, CAD/CAM software, and workflow changes. The practices that integrate new technologies with the highest success rates have teams who are ready, willing, and able to put forth the effort to make the transition.

Several proposals have been made to determine the economic viability of adding chairside CAD/CAM systems to a dental practice. A general recommendation is to note the number of restorations your practice does per month, as well as how much is spent on the lab to produce those restorations.

Manufacturing those restorations in-office will eliminate the lab bill. You can also save on impression materials and costs involved with a patient’s second office visit.

If the amount being spent on CAD/CAM dental equipment and supplies is less than what is currently being spent on these other items, and the steps can be done in a reasonable amount of time, then it makes sense to invest in this technology and equipment.

Explore CAD/CAM Equipment


Schedule a visit to tour our comprehensive CAD/CAM Dentistry Suite!

CAD CAM Image for Digital Dentistry

Benco Dental is known for its largest and most complete dental showrooms. You will find the greatest selection of equipment lines and categories in all three of our showroom locations:

  • Pittston, PA (Corporate Headquarters)
  • Dallas, TX
  • Costa Mesa, CA
Four employees discussing digital dentistry

Are you looking to learn more about CAD/CAM dentistry? Come over to one of our showroom locations where you can spend a day or two learning about Benco, test driving our CAD/CAM dental equipment, defining your goals and visions, and meeting with vendors and other product experts.

At Benco, we know that purchasing new equipment and technology is a significant decision. Through our showrooms, you can find the information and guidance you need to make the right decisions for your practice.

This experience should make you feel like a VIP, and that’s why Benco will cover all travel and meal accommodations for up to four people during your visit. Qualifications include a customer EQAC and a candidate for a CAD/CAM dentistry workflow.