May 15, 2010
The Lava™ Chairside Oral Scanner C.O.S. has captured the imaginations of industry leaders and analysts in every area of dentistry.
Computer-assisted design, computer-assisted machining (CAD/CAM) systems fall into two general categories. One is a laboratory-based system. This type of system requires a dentist to send a traditional final impression to the laboratory where it is poured in stone and the ensuing model is scanned to transfer the volumetric shape of the preparation to the design software. The dental laboratory uses the CAD/CAM system to create the substructure or entire restoration and it is finished on the model before returning it to the dentist for delivery. The second category is a dental office-based system. These systems allow the dentist to scan the tooth preparation intraorally to transfer the volumetric data on the preparation directly to the design software. These systems allow the dentist to fabricate the final ceramic restoration in the dental office during a single appointment.
A newer digital system, the Lava Chairside Oral Scanner (COS) (3M ESPE; www.3mespe.com), has been introduced that blends the lines between these two types of CAD/CAM systems. The dentist digitally records the tooth preparation intraorally instead of using a traditional impression. The digital data is electronically transferred to the dental laboratory for fabrication of the desired restoration. The purpose of this article is to describe the digital workflow for the Lava COS system.
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