If you have a damaged a tooth and it’s not feasible to repair it with a filling, your dentist may suggest a CEREC crown. Admittedly not every dentist provides this treatment but it is fast becoming the ‘go-to’ process for patients looking for a convenient alternative to a conventional dental crown.
One of the issues with fitting a traditional dental crown is the amount of patient time involved. First, there’s an initial assessment and diagnosis, then a patient has to book an appointment for a mould to be made and a temporary protective crown to be fitted. Then, once the lab has returned a new permanent crown (often several weeks later) a return to the dentist is needed to have it fitted. It’s easy to see how a crown becomes a lengthy and relatively expensive treatment.
At Infinity Dental Care, we want the best for our patients which is why we have invested in CEREC – an acronym that stands for Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic.
CEREC is one of the leaders in CAD/CAM technology (computer-assisted design and computer-assisted manufacture) that enables patients to receive CEREC crowns in a single dental visit.
CEREC crowns are made using sophisticated dental restoration technology that not only offers faster crown placement but additional crown benefits too
When are CEREC crowns necessary?
Dental crowns are one of the most common forms of restorative care carried out at Infinity Dental Care. Crowning or ‘capping’ a tooth is an effective way of strengthening a tooth left weakened following root canal therapy or preserving a tooth that has lost much of its integral structure. CEREC Crowns are also used for cosmetic purposes, either to conceal a badly stained tooth or to improved a misshapen tooth. A CEREC crown can also be used to cap a tooth that has cracked or fractured following an accidental blow to the face.
How does a CEREC Crown work?
A CEREC crown is made, designed and fitted at our clinic meaning you arrive with a damaged or unsightly tooth and leave the same day with a fully restored tooth. Here is a breakdown of the procedure.
As with conventional crowns, a certain amount of preparation is required in order to be fitted with CEREC Crowns. First a local anaesthesia is administered to numb the mouth and ease any discomfort while ensuring that no pain is felt during the process. The tooth is then re-shaped to accommodate the CEREC crown. This typically involves shaving and sculpting part of the tooth.
Time for pictures
Next, instead of making a physical mould from dental plaster which involves patients biting down into gooey, gag-inducing alginate, our dentist takes a series of 3D scans using a small hand-held intraoral wand that is passed gently over the teeth.
These images are sent directly to the CEREC computer which creates a digital image of the patient’s mouth and teeth. This virtual impression is then used to design the tooth reconstruction.
Then, unlike traditional crowns that take several weeks to be delivered, CEREC Crowns are ready in approximately one hour. The digital model is sent directly to our in-house milling machine which starts to sculpt your CEREC crown(s) while you remain comfortable in the dental chair.
Here’s how it works…
A solid piece of ceramic that matches your exact natural tooth colour is placed into the milling machine and then cut and shaped into a precise replica tooth determined by the measurements detailed in the digital impression. Because the measurements are so accurate, CEREC crowns taken straight from the milling machine are ready to be placed onto the prepared teeth with no extra shaping needed. They really do offer-up the perfect fit and optimal aesthetics.
In the final stage of the CEREC crown procedure, the crown is placed directly onto the prepared tooth. Our dentist will carefully check the bite before cementing the crown firmly in place.
Instead of having to wear a temporary crown and wait several weeks for the dental lab to send your permanent crown back, CEREC eliminates wait time and enables a patient to receive a dental crown in just one appointment.
After receiving CEREC crowns, it’s important for patients to follow the instructions given to them by the dentist to ensure a comfortable and successful recovery time. There may be slight sensitivity, swelling and discomfort which can be eased with over the counter painkillers such as Ibuprofen.
So now we’ve answered your question “how does a CEREC crown work? let’s discuss the benefits …
Benefits of CEREC Crowns
CEREC crowns provide many benefits for patients from the actual procedure to the finished result. These include:
With the busy lives we lead, several visits to the dentist for a crown can take up hours of precious time. Fortunately, CEREC has changed all of that. Since the entire procedure is completed in just one visit, patients only lose a couple of hours of time.
One of the things patients find most irritating about conventional dental crowns is that the first crown they receive is temporary. Not only are these more prone to damage but they can be quite uncomfortable too. As well as these negative factors, there’s the discomfort of having your temporary replaced with a permanent crown. With CEREC, your one and only crown is a permanent one and that’s fitted within a couple of hours.
CEREC crowns are an investment in your smile and can save patients money since only one appointment is needed. They also last longer than conventional crowns so you may not find yourself needing a repair further down the line as you might with a conventional crown.
If you want to know more about ‘how does a CEREC crown work’ why not come and talk to the experienced dental team at Infinity Dental Care. Book your appointment today or call us at (02) 9159 6237.