You may have heard of CEREC® crowns as one of the options available for repairing a damaged tooth. CEREC crowns are a great way to minimize the time in the dentist’s chair. These crowns can look just like your normal teeth, and dentists design them to fit to mimic your normal bite. There are many…
Getting CEREC® Crowns: A Step by Step Guide
CEREC® crowns tackle dental health and cosmetic problems, often at the same time. This type of crown is popular for its convenience. The computer-aided design and manufacture of CEREC crowns reduces fabrication time to a few short hours. This makes it possible for a patient to walk into a dental office with a toothache and walk out with a brand-new tooth. This is an explainer of how CEREC crowns work, but first, we'll go over the different uses and benefits of same-day crowns.
Different uses and benefits of same-day CEREC crowns
Crowns are versatile dental restorations with a range of applications. For starters, dental crowns restore teeth whose outer structures suffer damage due to tooth decay or injury. Crowns can also correct severe gapping in teeth.
Most importantly, crowns can be used to replace missing teeth. Implant-supported crowns are a way to replace one or more teeth. Crowns can also act as supports for dental bridges. There are many reasons that dentists recommend crowns:
- They act as a protective barrier for teeth with severe structural damage
- Crowns are a permanent way to replace missing teeth, either with the support of implants or with the support of existing teeth
- Dental caps have cosmetic applications as well as restorative ones
The process of fitting a crown usually takes two dental appointments and several days from start to finish. This is where CEREC crowns come in. Imagine enjoying all the benefits of a dental crown without a days-long wait time. This is what same-day CEREC crowns offer.
The fitting of a CEREC crown, from start to finish
CEREC reduces the process of fitting a crown to a single dental appointment. Here is what a patient should expect when they see a dentist with an in-house CEREC system.
1. Exam, diagnosis, and screening
When a patient walks into a dentist’s office with a toothache or tooth fracture, the dentist will evaluate the extent of the problem. This will often involve a visual exam and where necessary, medical imaging like an x-ray or a CT scan.
The patient exam allows for a diagnosis and patient screening. For example, a small cavity lends itself to direct filling with dental bonding. Crowns only become an option in cases of extensive structural damage to the teeth.
2. Treatment and tooth preparation
In the case of tooth decay or injury, the dentist will remove the infection, along with the dead, dying, and weak dental tissue. Next, the dentist will prepare the tooth. This involves removing a layer of enamel to make room for the crown. Enamel removal also roughens the surface of the tooth, allowing the crown to adhere firmly to the underlying tooth.
3. Intraoral scan
The dentist will then take a digital picture of the patient’s mouth. This image will capture the new shape of the prepared tooth. The camera connects to a computer with CEREC design software, such that the intraoral scans feed into the modeling module of CEREC.
4. Modeling and design phase
The CEREC design software will use the scans as inputs to create a 3D model of the patient’s tooth or teeth. With this model, the dentist will design a crown that fits perfectly over the prepared tooth.
A major advantage of CEREC crowns is that patients get to see a preview of what their teeth will look like after restoration. They can request adjustments, which the dentist may incorporate into the design.
The design module of CEREC sends the final draft to the milling unit. Like a 3D printer, the milling unit will use the design to carve a crown out of a suitable block of ceramic.
Lastly, the dentist will use dental adhesive/cement to attach the crown to the tooth.
Breathe new life into your tooth in one dental visit
CEREC® crowns are a convenient course of treatment for the patient on the go. Get in touch with our practice to find out how you can walk out of our offices with a brand-new tooth and a brand new smile.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: CEREC Dentist in Somerville, MA.
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