Architects and engineers have long taken computer-aided drawing (CAD) classes to learn how to design buildings. Thanks to advancements in three-dimensional printing, CAD now has benefits for people outside of these fields. If you're an oral surgeon, here's how taking a CAD class could help you learn to design custom implants.
Taking a CAD Class
Today, there are a variety of CAD software programs that are developed for specific industries, including some for the dental industry. These applications use two-dimensional and three-dimensional models to create digital representations of physical objects -- in this case, implants. Once designed, drawings can be sent to a three-dimensional printer to create actual implants. Best of all, all of the design and printing can be done right in your office, as long as you have the right software, have a three-dimensional printer, and know how to use the program.
You will, of course, have to learn how to use your CAD software -- and there is often a steep learning curve. You might find an introductory CAD class at a local community college, but few local two-year schools have advanced CAD classes that teach how to use applications specifically designed for oral surgery. For this type of training, you may have to travel and enroll in an intensive class or seminar.
Creating Custom Implants
Once your practice is equipped with the right software and printer, and you're trained on the software, you'll be all set to begin offering custom implants. You'll be able to design implants that fit perfectly in patients' mouths, which will improve the rate of success and reduce the need for involved follow-up care because they're made specifically for individual patients.
You'll even be able to offer custom engraving on teeth. Implants are already made with grooves that mimic those of natural teeth. Typically, these grooves are made by taking an impression of the existing tooth and then using that as a mold for the implant. With CAD, however, you can create grooves in any shape that a patient desires. As long as it doesn't interfere with the function of an implant, you can create grooves in the shape of letters or symbols.
With a little knowledge of CAD, you'll be able to elevate oral surgery to an art-form as you offer better functioning and uniquely designed implants. Moreover, you'll be able to set your practice apart from others in your area. The New York Times reports that only about 10 percent of dentists use CAD or CAM (computer aided manufacturing, which is similar).
For more information about advances in oral surgery, contact a local clinic like Peak Family Dentistry & Orthodontics.Share