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…
What Are CEREC Crowns?
CEREC® is an acronym for Chair-side Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic. The technology delivers same-day dental restorations with computer-aided design and manufacturing.
Are CEREC® restorations like same-day crowns the future of dentistry? General information about this type of dental restoration suggests yes. Here are important things you should know about CEREC® crowns.
CEREC® and traditional crown fabrication: A comparison
A patient usually needs two sessions in the dentist’s chair before they go home with a permanent crown. During the first session, the dentist removes a layer of enamel in preparation for the crown. Using putty-like material, the dentist proceeds to take an impression of the prepared tooth. They send this impression to a dental lab, where a technician creates a crown using the impression as a basis.
With CEREC®, the dentist can create and fit a permanent crown in a single dental visit. They use a 3D scanner to capture the patient’s teeth and feed the digital images to design software.
The dentist uses the software to design a crown that is a perfect fit for the prepared tooth. This design forms the blueprint that the milling machine uses to carve the restoration from a block of ceramic.
Accuracy and fit with traditional crowns
It takes skill and precision to make a traditional crown with a perfect fit. Each step in the process requires pinpoint accuracy to capture the actual shape and measurements of the patient’s tooth. For example:
- The dentist has to make sure to take an accurate putty mold of the patient’s bite; this could be a challenge if the dental tray that holds the putty is a poor match for the patient’s bite
- At the dental lab, a technician makes a cast by pouring a water/powder mixture into the created mold
- The accuracy of the resulting cast depends on the consistency of the cast mixture, the skill of the technician, and the accuracy of the mold
- When the cast solidifies, the technician pours hot wax over it, capturing the hollow or shape of the inner crown; accuracy depends on the technician’s skill
Accuracy and fit with CEREC® crowns
With CEREC®, the incidence of human error goes down dramatically. Instead of relying on putty, the dentist takes 3D intraoral scans of the patient’s mouth. Design software uses the scans to render an accurate model of the patient’s teeth. The dentist can then design a crown using the exact shape and measurements of the teeth.
A computer-controlled milling machine then uses this design like a printer uses an electronic file. The machine sculpts a crown from a block of ceramic.
CEREC® crowns and durability
CAD/CAM systems like CEREC® create restorations that match the bite and the measurements of the patient’s teeth. Then, there is the added advantage of durability.
CEREC® crowns are tougher and therefore, more durable than traditional crowns. A computerized process renders the ceramic blocks that go into the creation of CEREC® restorations. The result is a ratio of ingredients and a precision firing process that delivers solid, reliable restorations. With proper installation and care, CEREC® crowns will last for more than 25 years.
Take advantage of the speed and accuracy of CEREC®
Imagine a dental visit where you see a model of your smile before you get your new restoration. Now imagine walking out of the dentist’s office with that smile. This is what CEREC® can do for you, so get in touch with us to find out how.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: CEREC in Somerville, MA.
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