Digital Dentistry Program Adds State-of-the-Art Milling Machines

A crown made with RSDM’s new milling machine.

Milling machines and digital complete dentures are the latest additions to RSDM’s state-of-the-art digital dentistry curriculum.

The machines, which use CAD-CAM technology to create crowns from digital impressions, will dramatically reduce the turnaround time it takes to deliver the restorations to patients, said Dr. Heba Elkassaby, assistant professor and Director of Digital Dentistry in the Department of Restorative Dentistry.

The new technology, which arrived at the school last year, marks the final installment of a three-year phase to add new digital dentistry resources to the clinic floors and preclinical classrooms. These include intra-oral scanners, computerized self-assessment technology and a digital education center with laboratory scanners and 3D-printers.

Although the process of milling dental restorations has been standard for several years, few private-practice dentists have the technology in house. But faculty expect that to change. “It’s the wave of the future,’’ said Dr. Steven Morgano, chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry.

The technology of CAD-CAM dentures has many advantages such as reduced clinical chair-side time and number of visits as well as digital archiving. “Normally, if a patient loses a denture, the dentist has to start all over again, which takes a least five visits,’’ said Dr. Elkassaby. “This way, the dental laboratory can just mill another denture.”