What is a CAD-CAM Technician? Obviously, a technician who specialises in CAD-CAM. So, what is this CAD-CAM? CAD stands for Computer Aided Design while CAM Stands for Computer Aided Manufacture. It is exactly what it sounds like.
What is the use of learning to be a CAD-CAM Technician? That’s a good question and will be dealt with later. Note that the technician referred to here is a dental CAD-CAM technician. There are various other fields where a CAD-CAM technician’s skill can be put to use.
What are their skills?
As the name suggests, they use certain softwares (computer aided) to make models of prosthetics in a laboratory instead of making them manually. The models are then used to make real life models of the computer modelled prosthetic.
What is the use of making such computer aided prosthetics?
Computers have made life easier. They rarely make it hard. Same goes for designing and manufacturing dental prosthetics. With a machine, you can give life to the prosthetics you model by adding detail that is quite the hurdle when doing manually.
It can greatly save time…of the clients. With CAD-CAM technology, it is possible to make and install (if you will) prosthetics on the client in a single day. This will avoid the need for further visits.
What about you?
There might be a bit of workload getting things ready the same day and you might have to spend a lot of time before a screen, but the pay is good. You will be 3D modelling a patient’s teeth or anything of the sort and make the same thing out of fabrication material.
Is this like 3D printing?
Yes and no. Yes, it is like 3D printing in that you can essentially “print” whatever you want from the fabrication material. This is the additive way. But, usually, we see the subtractive way where a block of the fabrication material is…sculpted (Wouldn’t be wrong to say that) to make the required prosthetic.
This kind of subtractive construction is called CNC Milling, where CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control.
Is it as easy as that?
Well, no. There is a learning curve where you have to be accustomed with computer aided design software. You should also be able to handle new and different softwares. This will help you stay relevant in your field for a longer time.
How do you become a CAD-CAM Technician?
All you need is to complete a certified course in CAD-CAM Engineering related to the dental field (For other CAD-CAM technical work, you will have to take a degree and more). Where can you enroll for such a course? Cochin Dental Institute, one of the best dental colleges in Cochin, Kerala, offers training for the same.
That’s it. Get the certificate and you are officially qualified to do CAD-CAM work in dentistry.
But, we don’t see a lot of this digital work in dental labs right now…
It is true that the number of places that use this kind of technology is very few. In a dental clinic, it is very rare to see something like this today. But, in big laboratories, this is being used. Smaller labs and clinics require the budget to make this digital work possible.
If it is made possible, the benefits will be great. The accuracy provided by machines, the time consumed, and getting rid of all the unnecessary hassles makes it an awesome development in the field.
This is the future of the dental work field.
That’s exactly why
We asked in the beginning why one should become a dental CAD-CAM technician. Computer aided design and manufacture will soon replace traditional and manual means of creating prosthetics. So, if you want to stay in your career as a dental lab technician, this skill will definitely prove useful.
You will be an asset with this skill added to your list of skills. This will put you ‘in demand’. You will have more value than a normal dental lab technician. You cannot be disposed of when new replaces old. Run with the times or be outrunned. The choice is yours.
Cochin Dental Institute, one of the best dental colleges in Cochin, Kerala offers the best dental lab technician courses, including CAD-CAM Technician Courses (Hands on training). It would be worth your while to check them out.