Digital Dentistry refers to a digital workflow process involving the use of 3D Computed Tomography (CT) scanner, 3D treatment planning software, 3D Printer, 3D intra-oral scanner and Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology in the field of dentistry.
Benefits of Digital Dentistry
1 Allows for more comprehensive pre-surgery treatment planning so that all difficult and critical decisions can be made before surgery
2 Reduces guess work and human errors
3 Accuracy is improved, e.g. dentists can decide on length of implant and angle of insertion ...
Applications of Digital Dentistry
1. Implant dentistry
2. Reduces storage space because teeth and jaw models can be scanned and archived digitally rather than having to store physical copies
3. Create Temporomandibular (TM) Joint models for accurately diagnosing and consulting patients with TM disorders...
Patient Education and Consultation
At Smile Experts, we understand the concerns in the road to regaining your confidence. As such, patient education and counselling is important such that you fully understand your dental condition and the eventual proposed treatment plan for you. Before our dentists are able to c...
FAQs on Digital Dentistry
1. What's the difference between digital dentistry and normal dentistry?
3. Why is there a need for 3D software?
4. How does 3D printing help dentistry?
Patient education and consultation
At Smile Experts, we understand the concerns in the road to regaining your confidence. As such, patient education and counselling is important such that you fully understand your dental condition and the eventual proposed treatment plan for you.
Before our dentists are able to confirm whether the appropriate treatment for you, they would need to:
As each individual is unique, and there are also various treatment modalities available, our Smile Experts patient care counsellors will thoroughly explain the details of the treatment plans so that you may make an informed decision.
Take for example, in the case of dental implants, diagnosis of dental implant surgery was done without a 3D cone beam CT scan and usually only with a 2D X-ray scan. This is insufficient to appreciate jaw bone density and therefore surgeons only find out whether the patient has sufficient bone to support the dental implant during surgery. This inevitably corners the patient to make a hasty decision to proceed with bone grafting or to abort the surgery altogether.
Currently for single tooth implants, surgery is usually done without a guide. A digital periapical x-ray is used during surgery to check the angle and depth of the drill before an actual implant is inserted.
For multiple implants, a guide is highly recommended to ensure accurate implant placements. Currently, such guides are made by scanning a patient's jaw, planning the treatment on 3D software and sending this information to Switzerland or Denmark where the guides are manufactured. This process takes about 1 week and is costly.
A traditional CT scan comes in a 2D physical film and as such the surgeon is unable to plan and visualise the placement of a dental implant prior to the actual surgery.
3D software is necessary because it aids in pre-treatment planning to digitally place the implants. This planning will reveals the type and size of dental implants suitable for the patient and the exact angle and orientation of the dental implant. This allows surgeries to be more efficient without the need to make last minute decisions.
Even with a 3D scan and 3D treatment planning, it still takes the expertise of the surgeon to place the dental implant accurately by freehand.
Currently, most advanced surgeons utilise a digital bite-wing X-ray and a drilling guide to test the angle and direction of the placement before inserting the actual dental implant to avoid nerves and adjacent teeth as planned.
By printing a physical dental implant stent or guide, the surgeon is able to place the dental implant with pin-point accuracy thereby eliminating trial and error. This ultimately also makes the surgery even more efficient, safer and reduces its duration.