Until recently, the making of a dental crown or bridge had always been an exercise in old-world craftsmanship. The final restoration was a combination of the doctor’s expertise and the craftsperson’s skill in making the crown or bridge.
Today, advances in computer-controlled machining, or CNC, enable us to give our patients a more accurate fitting. CNC techniques were originally developed for the aerospace industry. The model of the prepared tooth is scanned by a laser, and this information is entered into a special computer that directs the CNC machine to precisely carve the crown. The process eliminates any human error, resulting in a precisely fitting crown or bridge.
Now as the doctor, I don’t have to worry who the lab technician is, or whether they are having a bad day. With computer-controlled CNC technology, I know I will get a consistently high-quality crown every time. This technique allows me to offer all-ceramic crowns and bridges that not only fit exceptionally well, but they also have no metal base – meaning no more black lines at the gum line. Due to the immensely strong properties of this ceramic material, I don’t have to worry about cases where there’s not a lot of room for the patient’s bite. Cosmetically, they are fantastic!