Preclinical Course in Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) Digital Dentistry: Introduction, Technology and Systems Evaluation, and Exercise

Publication ID Published Volume
10487 October 24, 2016 12

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Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology is an innovative digital system capable of scanning prepared teeth that are intended to receive crowns, bridges, and inlays and then effectively designing and fabricating restorations using a computerized system. Many dental schools are currently implementing this innovative CAD/CAM technology as part of their curricula. By integrating this new technology at the University of Florida College of Dentistry in a core curriculum, preclinical, prosthodontic sophomore course and as a junior elective course, students were provided with the hands-on experience needed to utilize CAD/CAM effectively in patient care. Specifically, students were able to enhance the application of CAD/CAM technology for same-day, indirect restorations, especially the fabrication of esthetic crown restorations. The goal of this resource was to enhance student comprehension of CAD/CAM digital technology and facilitate comparisons between the workflow of the new and the conventional technologies. This course included hands-on exercises for scanning, designing, milling, and finishing a single unit ceramic restoration, as well as a final examination. The students also gave presentations about systems and materials used. The classroom exercises included small-group learning and class debate sessions. This exercise in the comparison between CAD/CAM and conventional technology resulted in a deeper understanding of digital dentistry systems and ensured that students were prepared in their clinical reasoning to apply their education in real-world decision making after graduation.


El-Kerdani T. Preclinical course in computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) digital dentistry: introduction, technology and systems evaluation, and exercise. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2016;12:10487.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the different operating components of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) systems.
  2. Describe the basic functions and operation of the components.
  3. Compare and contrast the new digital and the conventional workflows.
  4. Compare different CAD/CAM materials and choose the most appropriate for clinical cases.
  5. Compare systems and choose the most suitable for the patient’s function and needs.
  6. Develop the technical skills needed for preparing, scanning, designing, milling, and finishing a single CAD/CAM ceramic restoration.


  • Computer-Aided Design, Computer-Aided Manufacturing, CAD/CAM, Digital Dentistry, Ceramic Restoration


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