Milling in Dentistry
The first crude milling device for dentistry was invented in 1971. Over the years, milling has been developed, refined, and perfected with the aid of computer-aided design (CAD) into the precision computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) process that we find commonplace today. Whether the starting material is metal, glass ceramic, or resin, the basic milling process remains the same. A series of cutting instruments suitable for reduction of material are used to remove unwanted portions of the design at the direction of CAD software. What remains is the dental restoration.
Just because a restoration is milled doesn’t mean it is ready to be placed in the patient’s mouth immediately after being removed from the milling machine. Like traditional analog methods, milled restorations require further finishing after processing in order to be delivered as a final restoration. Depending on the material, procedures such as sandblasting, custom staining, shading, or assembly of components milled from different resins may be necessary. In all cases, fine refinement, finishing, and progressive polishing are also necessary to make the appliance suitable for delivery and use.
Benefits of CAM Milling in Dentistry
Distortion and material shrinkage are non-existent. Production errors and laboratory working time are diminshed. Milled products conserve raw material and result in much less waste which saves money and the environment. CAM milled restorations fit more accurately and precisely at delivery. They require fewer adjustments compared to traditional analog laboratory methods.
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