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J Med Eng Technol. 2008 Jan-Feb;32(1):83-90. doi: 10.1080/03091900600836642.

New layer-based imaging and rapid prototyping techniques for computer-aided design and manufacture of custom dental restoration.

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Graduate Institute of Medical Mechatronics, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Fixed dental restoration by conventional methods greatly relies on the skill and experience of the dental technician. The quality and accuracy of the final product depends mostly on the technician's subjective judgment. In addition, the traditional manual operation involves many complex procedures, and is a time-consuming and labour-intensive job. Most importantly, no quantitative design and manufacturing information is preserved for future retrieval. In this paper, a new device for scanning the dental profile and reconstructing 3D digital information of a dental model based on a layer-based imaging technique, called abrasive computer tomography (ACT) was designed in-house and proposed for the design of custom dental restoration. The fixed partial dental restoration was then produced by rapid prototyping (RP) and computer numerical control (CNC) machining methods based on the ACT scanned digital information. A force feedback sculptor (FreeForm system, Sensible Technologies, Inc., Cambridge MA, USA), which comprises 3D Touch technology, was applied to modify the morphology and design of the fixed dental restoration. In addition, a comparison of conventional manual operation and digital manufacture using both RP and CNC machining technologies for fixed dental restoration production is presented. Finally, a digital custom fixed restoration manufacturing protocol integrating proposed layer-based dental profile scanning, computer-aided design, 3D force feedback feature modification and advanced fixed restoration manufacturing techniques is illustrated. The proposed method provides solid evidence that computer-aided design and manufacturing technologies may become a new avenue for custom-made fixed restoration design, analysis, and production in the 21st century.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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