The Value of a CAD Verification Bridge


There is no doubt you’ve heard the phrase used in carpentry “measure twice, cut once” – this is a good standard for complex dental prosthetics. When fabricating a long span all ceramic bridge, it makes very good sense to first try in an acrylic prototype or “CAD Verification Bridge” (CVB) to verify margins, esthetics, phonetics, bite and fit. This avoids a bad customer experience, loss of  labor, materials and chair time as trying in a finished product and having it fit inappropriately is a disappointment to all involved. When delivering the final case that is not correct, both doctor and patient confidence are immediately compromised, whereas trying in a CVB is perceived as a step that may need some intervention. If the prototype try-in is less than perfect, the patient was aware that this was the purpose of this step instead of it being a perceived failure as would be the case if the final product was not proper. To fabricate a CVB you simply design the final prosthesis according to the information provided.  Next, you mill the STL file in PMMA. This could also be used as a temporary as well as a functional trial bridge. The occlusion, length of teeth, embrasures, form and excursions can be adjusted. Once doctor and patient are satisfied, the CVB is returned for scanning. This scan is then merged with the original file so precise adjustments can be made easily to the CAD design and subsequent production of the definitive restoration. How far you choose to take the process is up to you but remember an ounce of prevention avoids a pound of heart ache.

Thanks for reading,

John Ackley

Back to All Posts