CAD/CAM is an acronym for computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing. Used for decades in the manufacturing industry to produce precision tools, parts and automobiles, CAD/CAM technology has been increasingly incorporated into dentistry over the past 20 years.
CAD/CAM technology and metal-free materials are used by dentists and dental laboratories to provide patients with milled ceramic crowns, veneers, onlays, inlays and bridges. Dental CAD/CAM also is used to fabricate abutments for dental implants, used to replace missing teeth.
As the materials and technology available for CAD/CAM dentistry have improved over the years, so too have the restorations that patients can receive from this form of digital dentistry. Today’s CAD/CAM restorations are better-fitting, more durable and more natural looking (multi-colored and translucent, similar to natural teeth) than previously machined restorations.