Type to search

Practical How To

How can I perform restorations in one appointment? Video Demonstration

On an experimental basis, we have asked a limited number of companies to provide us with practical “How To” answers to clinical questions. We were prompted to conduct this experiment when dental team members told us that they visit company websites and consult company representatives for practical clinical information. We look forward to receiving your feedback on this experiment.


This Practical How To is presented by Heather Tuggle, Communications Manager at Carestream Dental, Imaging Software and Practice management Solutions


Technology in dentistry seems to move at a dizzying pace, so it is no surprise to learn that indirect restorations that used to require several appointments can now be completed within a single visit. Indeed, thanks to CAD/CAM (computer assisted design/computer assisted manufacturing) technology, indirect restorations can be performed quickly and in-house—helping dental practitioners attract new patients by offering predictably  convenient inlays, onlays and full coverage restorations and making the process easier for doctors and their staffs. 

So how can this new digital technology be used to start offering chairside restorations in your own practice?

The secret lies in using integrated CAD/CAM technology.

In general, the typical workflow for performing a CAD/CAM restoration includes the following:

  • Capturing a digital impression with an intraoral optical scanner or via a CBCT scan of a conventional impression
  • Creating the restorative design with specialized software
  • Sending the design file to an in-office machine for milling
  • Bonding the new restoration to create a deeply satisfying experience for both dentist and patient. 

Let’s break this down into more detail. 

Unlike a traditional restorative protocol to create indirect restorations, which require a dental impression of the prepared tooth, impressions can now be captured digitally in two different ways:

  1. With a cone beam CT scan of a conventional impression
  2. Using an intraoral optical scanner.

Oral health practitioners who already utilize specialized CBCT technology in their practice can use select CBCT units to scan a conventional impression, while others may choose to scan the teeth directly with a highly accurate 3D intraoral scanner.

Once the tooth has been prepped and scanned, the image file can be imported into the specialized CAD software. While the software may vary from one company to another, some programs are highly automated and can efficiently create a customized restoration design by analyzing the patient’s dental morphology, the occlusion and the opposing dentition to create a restoration design. Thanks to this advance in imaging software and hardware technology, practitioners can now create restorations that look and feel like laboratory-treated restorations chairside.   

Finally, after the restoration has been designed, the information is sent to the in-house milling machine. These machines, using industry-standard ceramic, hybrid ceramic and resin-based materials, can create crowns, onlays, and inlays in as little as 15 minutes (depending on the restoration design and material chosen). Because many of these milling machines are fully automated and totally self contained, you only have to add more water as coolant or change the bur and filter when indicated on the manufacturer’s directions.

Because you no longer have to wait for your restoration to come back from the lab, you can immediately bond the new crown after milling is complete. No provisional restoration or additional appointments are required. This not only saves you and your patient time, but it also ensures that your patient gets the high-quality service he or she desires in a predictable and convenient single appointment.   

Watch the video

Carestream Dental provides industry-leading imaging, software and practice management solutions for dental and oral health professionals. With more than 100 years of industry experience, Carestream Dental products are used by seven out of 10 practitioners globally and deliver more precise diagnoses, improved workflows and superior patient care. For more information about CAD/CAM restoration solutions, please visit www.carestreamdental.com/solutions


Do you need further information related to this subject? Do you have any comments or suggestions? Email us at oasisdiscussions@cda-adc.ca

Readers are invited to comment on this initial response and provide further insights by posting in the comment box which you will find by clicking on “Post a reply“ below. You are welcome to remain anonymous and your email address will not be posted.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *