In my last article, I spoke about how buying a CEREC machine won't solve the issue of not performing great dentistry. At the end of the day, you need to be a good clinician with a sound educational knowledge because no machine is going to solve the fact that if you practice poor dentistry, you will have poor results.
However, technology can enhance your treatment of patients. The recently released CEREC Omnicam is frankly the epitome of what an intraoral device should be. The Omnicam is powder free, works by streaming capture and renders the models in full color.
The result of all these changes is that it allows clinicians to image with ease and render virtual models that are truly a representation of what the doctor sees in the mouth. What I've seen is that the virtual models that are created have the ability to serve as a patient education tool because the clinician is able to show the patients what is happening in their mouth via a 3D model instead of just still images.
The system allows dentists to image anything from a single tooth to a full arch by taking about 20 images per second and taking that data stream and creating a full virtual model. By allowing the doctor to image with ease, I think this will open up the use of the system to many more procedures than simple single tooth dentistry.
CAD CAM will continue to evolve, but with the Omnicam I believe that we are now at the point that this technology is not just limited to a select few offices. With the increasing capabilities of the system, particularly the ability to do more comprehensive dentistry, doctors are finding more and more uses for the systems. The images are rendered with tremendous clarity and it appears that this system could truly be a game changer.
Sameer Puri, DDS, is co-founder of www.cerecdoctors.com, a website dedicated to CEREC online education. He serves as the director of CAD CAM.