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Tooth loss owing to dental decay, trauma, accident, periodontal diseases, hereditary conditions and dental infections pose a serious threat to an individual’s social life, aesthetics and daily functions. Missing spaces in the oral cavity especially in the front region produce an unsightly appearance. People find handicapped and are not able to carry out daily life activities. Students tend to lose interest in studies and workers cannot work properly in their professional work places. Loss of back teeth makes it difficult to chew food properly resulting in deterioration of overall body health. Another important adverse effect of tooth loss involves drifting and tilting of adjacent remaining natural teeth which tend to cover the free space. This results in damage to oral soft and hard tissues with the passage of time.

Keeping in mind all these, it becomes extremely necessary to provide artificial replacement prosthesis for the empty spaces left by lost natural teeth. Conventional replacement of lost teeth includes provision of removable partial dentures and fixed crown and bridge prosthesis. However, these replacement devices are time consuming and involve the role of a dental laboratory increasing the cost of treatment. Furthermore, chances of error are increased during various procedures. Recent advancements in the field of prosthetic dentistry have been resulted in the development of computer aided designing and computer aided manufacturing concept. All tooth preparation, impression taking up to fabrication of replacement teeth can be carried out on the same visit. This chair side construction of fixed dental prosthesis for replacing missing teeth saves patient’s time, money and psychological trauma caused by edentulous period.

Use of computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing or CAD-CAM technology is fast changing dental treatment across the world. Also, use of newer materials like zirconium in making artificial teeth is making dentistry more patient-friendly.

“It is now possible to image the teeth that need replacement using instruments based on CAD-CAM technology. Digitization has completely changed the field of dental treatment. Dentists no longer use the lost wax method of taking an impression, doing away with the nauseating feeling and discomfort associated with the process,” said Kazuyoshi Baba, professor and chair in prosthodontics at Showa University Dental Hospital, Tokyo.


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