The traditional approach to getting a crown is to receive a temporary crown and then wait a few weeks for the final restoration to be fabricated so that it can be placed in a follow-up appointment. CEREC technology improves the process by allowing a crown to be created and placed in one dental visit without need for a temporary fitting.
CEREC, which stands for ceramic reconstruction, uses a CAD/CAM technology to make crowns, veneers, inlays and onlays using ceramic materials. The process involves preparing the existing tooth, taking its picture and transferring it to the 3D computer, and allowing the computer to design the implant for each particular patient. The entire process is done all the way from anesthesia, tooth preparation, impressions, fabrication, and implantation in one single office visit.
The unique thing about CEREC technology is that once the computer receives a patient’s data, the machine uses diamond burrs to mill the restoration out of porcelain right there in the dentist’s office. The crown or other type of restoration is created specifically for the patient’s mouth and then checked against the bite and against neighboring teeth for color match. Once the dentist determines that the crown fits exactly, it is polished and implanted to complete the procedure.
Some of the advantages that patients enjoy about CEREC is the significant time savings of only one trip to the dentist, as well as just one anesthesia requirement. Also, this process conserves tooth structure and may require less impact on your existing tooth. Porcelain is a strong material and looks very natural in the patient’s smile. Porcelain is also able to expand or contract quickly to allow for less discomfort when consuming cold or hot foods, and it deteriorates at a similar rate as tooth enamel. The appearance and convenience of a CEREC restoration is very appealing, making it a great choice for many patients.