Dentists sometimes recommend a dental crown to rectify damaged teeth. However, depending on the type of crown needed, it can take a significant amount of time to manufacture the crown. Fortunately, a CEREC dental crown makes it possible to solve the problem within the day.
You might be wondering if this is the option for you. Even before consulting with your dentist, knowing the basics can prepare you to make the right decision.
What Is a CEREC Dental Crown?
CEREC in dentistry terms stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. This refers to a system that uses computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) to construct materials for dental restoration. This state-of-the-art technology can design crowns, dental implants, fixed bridges, inlays and onlays, veneers, dentures, and some orthodontic appliances.
Dentists can now create dental crowns in various materials, including metal, porcelain, ceramic, and resin. A CEREC crown, however, is made out of extremely durable ceramic. Since they use computer-assisted technology available on-site to design, create, and install these crowns, the entire process can take a single visit.
The CEREC Crown Procedure
Once you’ve decided to take the dentist’s recommendation for a CEREC crown, here is what you can expect from the process:
- Teeth Examination and Preparation
The dentist will first examine your teeth and see if a CEREC crown is right for you. They will also need to check on how much healthy tooth structure you have remaining. Once you’ve reviewed your options, they’ll start the process by preparing the damaged tooth and anesthetizing that area. This involves removing decay as well as weakened tooth tissue. After this, the dentist will dry the area and prepare for the next step.
- Digital Impression
This stage involves opening your mouth wide for the camera. The dentist will have to take a digital camera scan of your tooth using an intraoral camera. The computer’s software will create digital images of the tooth surface. From several static pictures, the machine will convert and stitch the images together to make a single 3-D model of your tooth.
In this step, the machine will create the customized dental crown needed for your tooth. To make sure that it doesn’t stand out from the rest, the dentist will choose the closest coloured ceramic block based on the original colour of your tooth. The device can then start to make the crown. Milling the new crown will only take about 15 minutes.
- Fitting the Crown
Finally, the newly made crown is ready for fitting. The dentist will ensure that you get the proper fit and bite, polishing and cementing the crown to your tooth to bond it in place.
The Advantages of CEREC Crowns
Like any procedure, there are pros and cons to getting CEREC crowns. Here are the benefits if you choose to have them:
The quick design process allows for same-day service, so you can get a new crown in just one visit. Without needing to take multiple visits to your dentist, you don’t have to take time off work or miss a class. With CEREC crowns, you can save more time and get results within the same day.
- Temporary Crowns are Unnecessary
With traditional dental crowns, your dentist will place a temporary crown over your tooth to protect it between office visits. On the other hand, a CEREC crown procedure means you don’t have to wear a temporary crown while you wait for the lab to make a custom one.
- Say Goodbye to Messy Dental Impressions
Since the dentist will take digital impressions of your teeth to make a 3D model, they don’t need to use dental plaster to capture the alignment and shape of your teeth. The CEREC machine eliminates the need for impression trays, which can be bulky, messy, and uncomfortable.
One might think that dental crowns made in a single visit are lower in quality compared to their traditional counterparts. Fortunately, that isn’t the case. Research suggests that you can get a reliable restoration of your tooth with the installation of a CEREC crown.
- More Convincing Appearance
Other people might not realize that your tooth has a CEREC crown. Since it doesn’t have a metal core, it tends to look more natural and blends in better with the rest of your teeth.
The Disadvantages of CEREC Crowns
Again, like all procedures, there are pros and cons. Despite all the very real benefits that CEREC crowns have to offer, there are some drawbacks to think about:
Availability in Your Area – Unfortunately, not all dental offices offer this procedure since they might not have the machine needed for the restorations. Also, dentists require extensive training to handle such a system.
Not Suited for Your Needs – Just because a CEREC machine is available doesn’t immediately mean it’s the right solution for you. Consult first with your dentist before deciding whether getting a CEREC crown is appropriate for your dental problems.
Traditional Crowns vs. CEREC Crowns
While in both cases you get the same result at the end, which is a dental crown, the process for getting a traditional crown fitted differs in important ways.
- Various Materials Used
With traditional crowns, dentists make use of different materials like metal, ceramic, porcelain, resin, and zirconia. It’s also possible to fuse porcelain to metal and porcelain to zirconia. On the other hand, CEREC crowns work only with ceramic.
- A Longer Process
Compared to a CEREC crown, a traditional crown requires more time to complete. While you can finish in a single day with the former, you’ll have to visit your dentist’s office at least twice for the latter.
Here’s the rundown on a typical traditional crown procedure:
- Your dentist will first examine and prepare the tooth, which can include taking X-rays of it.
- Next, they’ll file down and remove part of the outer layer of your tooth.
- Using dental plaster, they will make an impression of both your trimmed tooth and the surrounding teeth.
- You’ll wear a temporary crown in the meantime while they send the impression to a lab that creates the new crown. This may take several weeks.
- Once the crown arrives, you’ll return for the second visit, when your dentist can bond the crown to your tooth.
Caring for Your Teeth after Getting CEREC Crowns
Taking good care of your CEREC crown can help prolong its life. Keep in mind the following tips for doing this:
- Brush your teeth carefully. Consider using a toothpaste intended for sensitive teeth if the crown or the surrounding teeth are hypersensitive to heat or cold.
- Practice flossing daily to keep all of your teeth in great condition.
- Avoid eating hard foods like ice or hard candy to prevent your crown from cracking. Although just as strong as the natural enamel of your teeth, it is still susceptible to wear and tear if used aggressively.
With all these considerations in mind, you may want to get an informed opinion before making a choice. However, if you don’t want to wait too long to get your smile back, then CEREC dental crowns could be the solution for you.
Before you do a Google search for “CEREC crowns near me”, discuss with a dentist regarding your options and see whether this method is available and recommended for your particular case. If you have any more inquiries about dental crowns, our team at Lambton Family Dental is here for you, offering professional dental care services in Sarnia. You can contact us at (519) 344-5747 or email us at [email protected]