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3-D dentistry a good fit: Doctors use digital technology to replace smiles

from San Antonio Express-News

Dr. Stephen Schmitt saw the possibilities in 1995 when he and a team of doctors at Wilford Hall Medical Center separated conjoined twins Hannah and Bethany Rainey using computer-designed, three-dimensional models of the girls' skeletal features. Technology that could guide the delicate surgery the twins needed also could find a variety of uses in dentistry, where dentures and other teeth-replacement products typically were made by hand and installed with a fair amount of guesswork, thought Schmitt, a dental specialist who focuses on replacing missing or damaged teeth. Today, he and Dr. Benjamin Young, a specialist in dental diseases, operate Voxelogix, a company that is part of the emerging field of digital dentistry. Those firms use 3-D models and other technological aids to improve how teeth are replaced and how well those teeth work. more

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