LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is celebrating a medical milestone -- and it happened in Lexington, Kentucky.
According to a news release, the Lexington VA Health Care System has become the first VA in the nation to create virtual impressions of teeth using a digital technology, including a 3-D intraoral scanner, computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM).
Dentists will be able to use those virtual impressions to design and create customized physical crowns using a 3-D printer.
"This is only the beginning of a new era in the way we do Dentistry," Dr. Regina Cunningham, a dentist at the Lexington VA Health Care System who led the project, said in a statement. "This new approach will cut the amount of time a Veteran sits in the dental chair in half. Veterans no loner need multiple dental appointments for a crown."
In the past, a temporary crown has been affixed while the physical dental impressions are sent off to a laboratory where the permanent crown is designed. The patient then has to come back for a return visit when the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is installed.
The new digital technology eliminates many of these delays.
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