Natural smiles designed and fabricated by computer.
Silmi Dental Institute is one of the reference centers in the field of implantology and dental esthetics. Nowadays, technological advances in this sector open the door for specialists to achieve high quality treatments, using minimally invasive techniques and with excellent aesthetic results. Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) play an important role in this field. To learn more about these revolutionary advances, we spoke with Dr. Silmi Macias, medical director of the Silmi Dental Institute, a worldwide research consultant for leading brands in the market.
How do technological advances influence the field of dentistry?
The meteoric advance of science and technology has touched the field of dentistry, giving rise to great progress in recent years. Technological advances help us to achieve more favorable results, in the search for a beautiful and healthy smile, adapted to the naturalness of each patient.
What do these advances consist of?
They provide us with a new work tool as an essential instrument for dental diagnosis, prevention and treatment. With computers, their programs and associated devices, such as intraoral cameras, dental analysis programs in 2D and 3D, and dental planning, they improve, perfect and guarantee accuracy and speed in implantology, orthodontics, guided surgery and CAD CAM prosthetics treatments.
What are the benefits of these advances?
In our Dental Institute, we strive to achieve maximum aesthetics, since a well-cared smile provides elegance, confidence and self-esteem. That is why we avoid the placement of metals in the mouth, replacing them with ceramic materials. We prefer high-precision, customized crowns, which will give us a warmth of color, translucency and depth when faced with the challenge of achieving maximum esthetics at the moment of the creation of a new tooth.
How are all these advantages obtained?
By obtaining 3D images prior to carrying out the treatments, by means of digitized impressions, which saves the patient from the annoying measuring trays. These digitized impressions are sent through a digital program that provides us with the precise shape, measurements and adjustments to be able to carry out the interventions rigorously.
We have talked about this treatment in crowns and veneers, but can it be used in patients who do not have teeth?
Thanks to these advances and the CAD CAM system, it can be used both on natural teeth and on teeth that are placed on dental implants. In the latter case, the design of the surgery can be carried out by means of software that guides us for the correct placement of the implants, so that the patient does not have a post-operative period and this results in a minimally invasive treatment. For the placement of the teeth on the implants, the same system is followed as for natural teeth, achieving an exemplary precision in the adjustment of the structures and aesthetics.
Is it advisable to remove metal from our mouth?
In the past, dental treatments were carried out with metal, which provided us with optimal results. But today, with the technological tools we have and the expert hand of our specialists, whose mission is to ensure the naturalness of the treatments, almost all treatments are performed without metal.
If metal is avoided in the mouth, what happens to orthodontic treatments?
The creation of a perfect smile is based on good function, position, shape and color of the teeth. This function and position is achieved with different orthodontic treatments. The most common are metal brackets, but in certain cases, if a patient needs to wear this type of treatment, invisible orthodontics may be used. This treatment consists of a series of transparent and removable aligners that are manufactured individualized and personalized, through a 3D virtual treatment plan, which will allow us to see, before starting the treatment, the final result of our smile and to decide if it is the most successful design. The shape, if it is not the right one, can be achieved by means of ceramic crowns and composite or porcelain veneers of maximum aesthetics. As for the color of the teeth, it can be achieved with teeth whitening, which allows us to lighten dark or yellowish teeth.
What type of patients use invisible orthodontics?
Invisible orthodontics is performed for all types of patients, adolescents, adults or elderly, with mild or moderate dental irregularities. For people who, because of their lifestyle, work commitments or any other need, find it difficult to wear fixed appliances. They resort to this treatment because it is practically invisible, they can brush and chew normally during the treatment. In addition, as they are metal-free, they do not irritate and do not cause discomfort or injury to the mucous membranes and gums.
The field of dentistry is constantly progressing…
One of the greatest current advances is the study of prevention, with the creation of a vaccine against dental caries. Another advancing field is nanotechnology applied to dentistry. The use of nanoelements that could be smaller than the nucleus of a cell, and that will be able to access places that are impossible to reach manually or with other technologies. They could be used to destroy the bacteria that cause dental caries, for early diagnosis and treatment of oral pathologies, to develop new local anesthetics, to renaturalize teeth, to permanently treat dental hypersensitivity, to complete orthodontic readjustments during a single office visit, and even for continuous maintenance of oral health using dentirobots. As for stem cells, whether of dental origin, pulp, or of medullary or embryonic origin, they present common cell markers that could regulate the formation of dental tissues, enamel and dentin, among others.
Are these new techniques beginning to be applied?
All the avenues of research that we have discussed present moral, ethical and religious restrictions. This makes their progress slow and presents certain obstacles in their development.