Digital dentistry is the use of computer-aided technologies (CAT) in all aspects of dentistry, from diagnosis to treatment planning and execution. This includes everything from three-dimensional (3D) imaging to CAD/CAM restoration fabrication.
The two main goals of digital dentistry are to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment planning, and to increase the efficiency of treatment delivery. This results in better outcomes for patients, as well as increased satisfaction for both patients and practitioners. Here are a few examples of how digital dentistry technologies are used in everyday practice:
3D scanning and printing: Used for everything from making dental models and study casts to surgical guides and custom implant abutments.
CAD/CAM technology: Used for fabricating dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, onlays, inlays, and veneers.
Digital imaging: Used for intraoral photos, digital x-rays, and cone beam CT scans. These images can be stored electronically for easy retrieval and help diagnoses tooth decay, periodontal disease, tumors, cysts, etc.
Electronic health records (EHRs): Used for storing patient health information electronically. This allows for quick and easy access to patients’ histories, which can help with treatment planning.
Digital dentistry is the wave of the future. By improving accuracy and efficiency while also increasing patient satisfaction, there’s no question that digital technologies are changing the landscape of dentistry for the better. Whether you’re a practitioner or a patient, understanding what digital dentistry is and how it’s used can help you stay ahead of the curve.