CEREC - Crown in a Day!
A recent innovation available in our office is the "Computer-assisted design—Computer-assisted manufacture" crown, or "CAD-CAM." The company that is foremost in this technology is Cerec. This crown is designed and milled by a computer to fit your tooth precisely, thus eliminating the laboratory step in manufacturing the crown. By utilizing this state of the art technology, you can have the entire procedure completed in one visit.
Traditional two visit crown visit
On the first visit at most dental offices, you get an injection of anesthesia, your tooth prepared, an impression taken, and a temporary restoration placed on your tooth. At the second appointment several weeks later, you would receive another injection, have the temporary removed, and have the final restoration put on. During the time the temporary is in place, you may experience sensitivity or have the temporary crown loosen and fall off. With CEREC crowns, you eliminate the need for a temporary and the second visit altogether.
How The CEREC Crown Is Made
The CEREC Acquisition Unit is mobile and houses a computer and the CEREC camera. We use this extremely accurate camera to take a digital picture of your prepared tooth. This picture is used instead of a traditional impression. The computer and CEREC 3D software converts the digital picture to a three dimensional virtual model of your prepped tooth. At that point, we design your restoration right on screen using the software while you wait. This software can assist us with designing any single tooth restoration: crowns, inlays onlays, and veneers. Once we have designed your restoration (about 5 minutes), the data is communicated via a wireless radio signal to the CEREC Milling Unit. We will select a ceramic block that matches the shade of the tooth being repaired. The next step is to place the ceramic block into the Milling Unit. The data from the Acquisition Unit is used to direct two diamond coated burs to carve the block into the indicated shape of the restoration. This process usually takes 8 to 18 minutes depending on the size and type of restoration. After the milling is finished, we will polish the finished filling or crown and bond it into place.
Advantages of CEREC restorations:
1. Convenience: Eliminates the second visit and problems associates with a temporary crown
2. No need for impressions and gagging on the silicone putty in your mouth
3. Better fit than laboratory restorations due to the extremely detailed Blue Ray scanned image
4. Excellent esthetics: We utilize extremely durable ceramic blocks, so there is no metal and you never have to worry about the gray or black line you often see at the gum area with traditional crowns