Experience the future NOW!
Can you remember the time when a crown you had made at your dentist's office where a tooth was numbed and shaped, an impression was taken, a temporary crown was cemented and then you had to return to the office in two or three weeks later to have the crown fitted and cemented to the tooth? Did you have any problems or sensitivity with the temporary crown? Well you no longer have to worry about having to come back multiple times for a crown as we now offer same-day crowns!
What is CEREC®?
Unlike this traditional method of having crowns installed, CEREC® uses a combination of infrared imaging, computer CAD CAM design and a precise milling machine to help complete the entire process is about 2 hours from start to finish - all in one appointment!
We have taken the time and considerable effort over the past two years to hone our skill in this technically demanding treatment modality so that 95% of all our CEREC® crowns are accomplished in one appointment.
Why would you want a CEREC® crown instead of a conventional one?
- Less time in the dental chair - half the number of appointments; fewer local anesthetic episodes.
- Less tooth structure is lost in most cases. We can make most of the preparations for these crowns without cutting away as much of your natural tooth.
- Many lab crowns have a metal substrate that porcelain is bonded to. CEREC® crowns are all porcelain - this means lower chances of allergic or immune response to the material in the crown.
- Cost is the same in our office for either type of crown.
- Less chance for complications - most temporary restorations leak or have other discrepancies that can sometimes lead to increased sensitivity and this can even create the need for further treatment such as root canal therapy. When the crown is started and finished in one appointment, the tooth structure is better sealed off and protected at an earlier stage with the result that risk of complications and/or sensitivity can be lowered.
- CEREC® is patient friendly! Once the design process begins, you are free to move about the office, make phone calls, run a short errand or even have additional dentistry such as a couple of fillings done - further shortening the number of visits you might need. There is a time frame of about 20 to 30 minutes in the middle of the appointment where the crown unit is being designed/fabricated and your presence is not needed unless you elect to have other needed treatment accomplished in that time slot.
- CEREC® is GREEN (environmentally friendly), it is efficient and it SAVES you MONEY ($).
a) Fewer materials used - most materials in the process have a far lower negative impact on the environment.
b) Fewer appointments mean fewer miles driven in your car for transportation.
c) Fewer appointments mean fewer wasted disposable materials including paper products, syringes, plastic products, autoclave cycles, rubber gloves, masks and so on.
How does it work?
An infrared camera takes images of the tooth after shaping and a CAD CAM computer program immediately downloads the images creating three-dimensional virtual models that can be viewed and manipulated on the computer monitor. The operator in the dental office then uses the program to design the crown or onlay that will replace the missing tooth structure. This usually takes about three to five minutes. Next a porcelain block is selected, is inserted into a milling machine and the software program sends a signal to the milling machine to create the design in porcelain. This takes about 13 to 18 minutes. Once completed, the crown is polished, tried in the mouth, adjusted and bonded into place. The entire process takes about 2 hours and there is a period of about ½ hour for design and milling that can be used to accomplish other needed dental work.
How does it compare to conventional crowns?
The process of manufacturing a metal base lab crown involves significant amounts of expensive consumable materials beginning with impression materials in the dental office, continuing through model making devices and materials and on to alloys of metal that are increasingly costly followed by use of firing ovens, casting machines and the like. Most of these materials are not particularly biodegradable. With CEREC®, there is a very limited amount of disposable material needed. This helps lower the waste stream, much of it carbon footprint related, as well as the cost.
Are there any drawbacks or contradictions to CEREC® crowns?
This technology can be used on almost all single crowns and some types of bridges. Sometimes where aesthetic results are a high priority, an exact color match of surrounding teeth can be difficult and in these cases a laboratory technician may be able to produce better aesthetics with a laboratory fabricated and stained crown. At the present time, we are not able to build bridges in one appointment with CEREC®. In almost all other cases, we would confidently recommend a CEREC® crown in place of a laboratory-fabricated crown.
Will my CEREC® crown last as long as a lab crown?
Any crown with porcelain in its structure carries risk of fracture. Metal crowns do not have this risk. At Escondido Dental Group and Orthodontics, we warrant all of our CEREC® fabricated crowns for– five years – against breakage under normal wear conditions (not for accidents and the like) as long as the patient is following our recommendations for care, restoration and upkeep of the mouth. Our policy is identical for CEREC® crowns and for laboratory crowns. Most crowns have a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years and many will last decades – even lifetimes.