CAD/CAM is a field of dentistry that uses computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to create dental restorations like dentures, dental implants, veneers, dental crowns, and more. CAD/CAM technology allows dentists and periodontists to fit patients with durable, high-quality, and aesthetically pleasing dental prostheses. Not only does this technology improve the design and creation of dental restorations, it also makes some types of restorations possible that would otherwise not be without computer-aided design and manufacturing. A CAD/CAM system has a digital scanner that scans models and inputs the image into a computer, software that allows professionals to design a prosthesis, and technology that allows for the prosthesis to be created using the computerized image and data. CAD/CAM systems are most often used in a dental lab or production facility, but they can also be used by dentists and periodontists chair-side.

CAD/CAM abutment

Computer-Assisted Design and Computer-Assisted Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) is a technology that uses computer software to design and manufacture implant abutments. The software uses the information from digital position recognition of the patient’s implant platform to create the custom abutment. This can assist in making a better-fitting abutment-to-implant connection. CAD/CAM abutments are often made of titanium bases due to the material’s biocompatibility and known hygienic characteristics. The use of titanium also creates a strong and corrosion-resistant implant base. CAD/CAM abutments can be made of Telio CAD abutment blocks. These blocks are made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), a durable material that can be shaped and polished to create a natural look. CAD/CAM technology can also be used to create custom healing abutments that better prepare the patient’s tissue for the CAD/CAM implant. Healing abutments created using this technology can require less re-contouring, thereby saving the patient from additional dental work and expense.

Calcium phosphate

Calcium phosphate is a biomaterial that has a chemical structure that is very similar to naturally occurring bones and teeth. It has both osteoconductive and bioactive properties, making it an ideal choice for implant dentistry and orthopedic applications. The calcium phosphate molar mass plays a role in its ability to promote rapid bone formation and osseointegration, and a special calcium phosphate formula is often used to coat the outside of dental implant hardware to help increase the chances of the implant success. Factors that can affect the coating’s performance include but are not limited to the thickness of the coating, the coating’s purity, the crystallinity, and its chemical composition. Additionally, calcium phosphate is often used for other applications in implant dentistry, including bifurcation perforation repair, periapical defect repair, apical barrier formation, and pulp capping. Tricalcium phosphate is a form of calcium phosphate that may also be used.

Calcium sulfate (CaSO4)

Calcium sulfate, also referenced as calcium sulphate or CaSO4, is an inorganic compound often used as a dessicant in its anhydrous form. A common example of calcium sulfate is Plaster of Paris, and the readily available compound is used in many other applications, particularly in the field of implant dentistry. It has a history of being used during bone regeneration procedures as a grafting material or a graft extender. It has also been utilized as a barrier for guided tissue regeneration. The compound is extremely biocompatible and the body is able to completely absorb the material over time. The body does not react significantly to calcium sulfate and the area of implantation becomes calcium-rich and primed for dental implant hardware. Studies show that tissue migrates over the material if primary closure is not obtained. While inexpensive and abundant, calcium sulfate is not used as often in dentistry as other biomaterials.


A Caldwell-Luc antrostomy is a procedure often used to remove a damaged mucosal lining from the maxillary sinus, developed by George Caldwell in 1893 and Henry Luc in 1897. The Caldwell-Luc operation indications are usually when sinusitis in the area has not responded to antibiotic treatment, sinus rinses, and other non-invasive treatments. However, the procedure may also be used in cases of malignancy, dental cysts, sinus polyps, fractures in the bone surrounding the maxillary sinus, or the removal of foreign bodies. Most commonly, a Caldwell-luc procedure is performed under general anesthesia due to its invasiveness, but may be performed under local anesthetic in some situations, such as if an allergy to general anesthesia exists. Complications of a Caldwell-Luc antrostomy include potential damage to secondary dentition in children, damage to adult teeth, excessive or uncontrollable bleeding, and pain and discomfort.


Nearly all medical specialties use the scientific process of taking a tissue culture. There are three different types of tissue cultures: callus culture, a seed culture (used for plants), and embryo culture. A callus culture involves the removal of a small specimen from the body and facilitating its growth into a callus in a controlled environment outside the body in order to study it. A callus is a group or mass of unorganized cells. Usually, this is done in agar, a special nutrient-rich gel that feeds the specimen for optimal replication. Different types of micronutrients and macronutrients may be included, and basal salt mixtures may also vary to enhance growth. In dentistry, callus cultures can help professionals identify difficult to treat gingival bacteria or tumor tissue that grows from wounds in the oral cavity. When studied, the callus can help dental professionals develop an appropriately responsive treatment plan through trial and error.


The calvaria definition is a simple one — the calvaria is the topmost part of the neural cranium, which protects the cranial cavity that houses the brain. The calvaria is comprised of several different bones, including the parietal bones, the occipital bones, and the frontal bone, or forehead and is the primary part of the skull roof. The bones of the calvaria are comprised of layers of compact bone, which is separated by diploic veins, or cancellous bone that houses rich, red bone marrow until death. In a fetus and young child, the junctions at which the calvaria joins with other bones in the skull roof are soft and not yet melded together — this process, known as intramembranous ossification, completes after the first few years of life. The skull roof then becomes hard at the junctions and much more difficult to penetrate.

Cancellous bone

There are two types of bone found in the human body — cortical bone and cancellous bone. Cancellous bone is a spongy type of bone and is responsible for producing stem cells and blood cells. Because of these incredible properties, cancellous bone is typically used for bone grafts due to its concentration of osteoprogenitor cells and therefore a greater ability to form new bone as compared to cortical bone. Although all bone is always in a state of renewal, a cortical vs cancellous bone graft is unlikely to be osteogenic or osteoinductive due to its fundamental lack of cellularity. Cancellous allograft bone chips are often used to fill voids within bone and have a wide range of medical applications, including osteopathy and implant dentistry. The gold standard of bone grafts, including cancellous bone grafts, is when bone can be removed from one area and grafted to another area within the same patient.


A Cantilever, or Cantilever bridge, is a special type of dental bridge that features abutment teeth on only a single side of the edentulous gap. In traditional dental bridges, the pontic (the unanchored artificial tooth) is in the center of two anchors. These anchors are often dental implants, especially for patients who are looking for a permanent solution. In a Cantilever dental bridge, however, the pontic is located on the outside of an anchor tooth, also called the abutment tooth. A dental professional may choose a Cantilever bridge when preparing a traditional bridge with abutment teeth on both sides would not be aesthetically appropriate for the patient, usually due to the location of the bridge. Or, a Cantilever dental bridge might be selected if one of the would-be anchor teeth of a traditional bridge is supporting another dental prosthesis that is unable to be replaced.

Castable Abutment

A castable abutment, also known as the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) abutment, is a prefabricated component, with or without a prefabricated cylinder, used to make a custom abutment for a cement-retained or screw-retained prosthesis. It is created by waxing its plastic burnout pattern and subsequently casting the abutment through a lost-wax technique. The custom-made abutment is then used in the construction of an implant or prosthesis. Such abutments can be made of a variety of materials including metal alloys such as titanium, gold, or chrome cobalt, or from polymers such as polyoxymethylene. When used in the placement of an implant, the abutment allows for height and angle correction while also fitting with the surrounding soft tissue. Following the final implant placement, a sturdy but temporary filling material is used to cover the screw access channel for easy access and adjustment should it be required in the future.