Digital dentistry refers to the use of dental technologies or devices that incorporates digital or computer-controlled components to carry out dental procedures rather than using mechanical or electrical tools. The use of digital dentistry can make carrying out dental procedures more efficient than using mechanical tools, both for restorative as diagnostic purposes. ‘Godfather’ of Digital Dentistry is the French professor François Duret, who invented dental CAD/CAM in 1973.
Some of the technologies used in digital dentistry include:
- CAD/CAM and intraoral imaging — both laboratory- and clinician-controlled
- Photogrammetry-based intraoral scanning (software-driven)
- 3D printing of the digital images taken with intraoral scanner.
- Caries diagnosis
- Computer-aided implant dentistry — including design and fabrication of surgical guides
- Digital radiography — intraoral and extraoral, including cone beam computed tomography (CBCT)
- Electric and surgical/implant handpieces
- Occlusion and TMJ analysis and diagnosis
- Photography — extraoral and intraoral
- Practice and patient record management — including digital patient education
- Shade matching
- 3D Printing to make appliances, temporaries, and surgical guides
- Dental lasers
- The Wand- used to carry anesthesia