CEREC Dental Crowns – One Visit
CEREC Crowns – Restoration in One Visit
One of the standout crown building methods in cosmetic dentistry today is the use of CEREC crowns. These special porcelain crowns are fashioned by using computer-controlled devices to carve a precise imitation tooth out of a block of dental grade porcelain. Tailored to the patient’s needs, exactly fitted to your tooth, and created with high-speed precision CAD milling machine. CEREC crowns offer the unusual advantage of crown restorations fully achieved in a single visit to the doctor’s office.
CEREC is an abbreviation of either “Chair side Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics,” or more simply, “Ceramic Reconstruction.” It is used for around 7 million crowns globally each year, but is available in less than 10% of the offices in the United States. At the heart of the process is 3D digital imaging, and CAD-CAM (Computer Assisted Design – Computer Assisted Manufacturing). Going from scan to fitted, finished crown in a single dentist’s visit is achieved thus:
- A scanning device is used to create a “digital impression” by taking about 19 pictures per second, and re-formatting these images to re-create the tooth in 3D in the computer.
- The computer’s CEREC analyzes the data, taking into account the specific tooth involved, the shape and placement of the adjacent teeth, and micron-precise measurements of the oral structure at the point where the crown is to be situated.
- Using this data, the computer generates a 3D model of the crown.
- The dentist then makes any needed adjustments and sends the information wirelessly to a milling device located at a convenient spot in the office.
- The milling device sculpts the crown out of a solid block of porcelain, which has been chose to match the color of the patient’s teeth. The dentist has also selected such factors as the translucency needed (different parts of the block have different gradations of translucency) and so on.
- The milling process takes around 15 minutes to complete, and sometimes less. The carving is extremely high quality and extremely precise, finely cut to exactly match the missing area of tooth that the CEREC crown is to replace.
- The dentist puts finishing touches on it, including making sure the amount of gloss matches the other teeth and making other fine adjustments.
- The fixture is cemented into place.
This is the method by which CEREC crowns offer you the possibility of having crown work on a damaged tooth completed in a single visit, often taking less than an hour in total. This is a massive benefit for the patient. You don’t need to wait while your specifications are sent off to a lab where milling occurs, then return for an additional visit. Uncomfortable physical impressions of the teeth are done away with. The inconvenience of using temporary crowns and of returning to the dentist multiple times, possibly interfering with several days of work, is also eliminated.
Benefits of CEREC Crowns
Besides the time-saving speed with which CEREC crowns can be completed in a single office visit, there are other reasons to seriously consider using these fixtures.
- Quick repair of your smile is possible after a tooth is damaged, so that even if your tooth is partly broken off in the morning (for example) you can be ready for a business meeting, a concert, or a hot date by the evening, or at least by the next day.
- CEREC crowns are quite sturdy, being one solid piece that cannot be as easily broken apart as a crown made out of multiple layers or several components.
- The need for temporary crowns, which can drop out inconveniently, is dispensed with.
- CEREC crowns also work well as large silver filling replacements.
- These crowns lack the bubbles or cracks that sometimes appear in those porcelain crowns fashioned in the lab using traditional techniques. The crown is firm, secure, and will help prevent the tooth it is attached to from breaking further.
- Temporary crowns are also cemented on, which often causes more original tooth material to be lost when they are removed to make place for the permanent, tailored crown.
- Color modifications and custom shading and staining of the crowns or bridges is quickly and easily accomplished at the same visit for beautiful restorations!
Limitations of CEREC Crowns
Though highly versatile and useful, CEREC crowns are not a universal solution to every dental problem. When a tooth is decayed below the gum line, the existing scanners cannot generate a complete digital impression of the space. There are also cases where the patient’s bite is excessive or the height of the tooth is too short for adequate strength.
Color and translucency are gradated throughout the block of porcelain from which the crown is milled. There are even milling blocks that naturally vary the translucency of the material for very lifelike qualities. In other words, CEREC crowns are very difficult to color match with the most visible teeth, those in the front of the mouth or the “smile.” Accordingly, these crowns are best suited to side teeth and molars.
Dr. Gibbs and CEREC Crowns Glen Ellyn
Our office provides CEREC crown services for your convenience and dental health, and Dr. Gibbs is fully trained and conversant with the methods used to create CEREC crowns of superb quality. We even have an advanced porcelain glazing kiln in our office, which permits us to alter the color of porcelain crowns rapidly to match your teeth. We are currently moving into making anterior (front teeth) with the CEREC method, having spearheaded the technique of color modification through use of a advanced vacuum glazing oven. Dr. Gibbs can provide you with excellent CEREC crowns – made to fit your mouth perfectly while you wait, and then serving you well for many years to come.