Facially Driven Digital Diagnostic Waxing: New Software Features to Simulate and Define Restorative Outcomes

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Computer-aided design (CAD) softwares minimize human designing errors, reduce time and cost, and serve as more powerful diagnostic and designing tools for treatment planning in restorative dentistry when compared with conventional diagnostic waxing techniques. The goal of this article was to review the features of the available dental and open-source CAD softwares for a facially driven digital diagnostic waxing elaboration.

Recent Findings

The literature review demonstrated that when digital technologies are selected, the fundamental concepts remain, but the protocol differs. When fabricating a facially driven diagnostic waxing, the digitized dentition obtained from either an intraoral scanner or digitized conventional stone cast can be merged with either two-dimensional (2D) photographs or three-dimensional (3D) extraoral facial scans of the patient at different positions. This superimposition procedure has been described in dental and open-source CAD softwares. Indeed, dental CAD softwares offer intuitive tools for dental professionals; however, the flexibility in creating virtual designs is more limited compared with open-source softwares.

Summary

Digital technologies serve as a more powerful diagnostic and design tool when compared with conventional procedures. The integration of different digital technologies has promoted the development of a 3D virtual patient, allowing clinicians and dental technicians to superimpose data on patients’ facial skeletons, extraoral soft tissue, and dentition. Both dental and open-source CAD softwares greatly improve the facially driven diagnostic waxing predictability because they incorporate the patient’s facial references.
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