Once upon a time, getting a crown meant making multiple trips to the dentist. At the initial appointment, your dentist would prep your tooth, take an impression, and place a temporary crown. A lab would receive the impression and then make a crown to fit your tooth. Finally, a month or so later, you would spend more time in the dentist’s chair for the placement of the permanent crown. CEREC crowns are different. Constructed through innovative technology, these customized crowns can be created and placed in a single visit.
What is CEREC? The name is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, which is a rather unwieldy way of describing what this sophisticated system does. The efficient technology produces a visually appealing ceramic reconstruction of a tooth while the patient waits. Basically, with a CEREC crown, there is no need for a temporary crown or multiple dental appointments. In a matter of hours, you can have an attractive crown that blends in perfectly with your natural teeth.
How Does CEREC Work?
CEREC systems use 3D photography and computer-aided design (CAD) software, which allow dentists to design custom crowns that perfectly match the patient’s mouth and surrounding teeth. Then, a computer-controlled milling machine transforms the digital crown into a tangible one. In a matter of minutes, this machine crafts the crown from a single block of ceramic or resin with diamond-headed bits. The new crown is then bonded to the tooth with adhesives. The final result is a durable, high-quality, and metal-free dental restoration that requires just one visit to your dentist.
The History of CEREC
While CEREC may seem like an exciting new option, this time-tested technology has actually been around for over three decades. The CEREC method was developed at the University of Zurich in 1980, and the first patient was treated in 1985. Over the years, developers have continued to improve the system and expand its capabilities. Today, the CEREC system is utilized in dental offices all around the world, and millions of CEREC restorations have been placed. While the system is often utilized for crowns, it can also be used to fashion dental veneers, inlays, onlays, and even some bridges.
When Are CEREC Crowns Used?
A crown is a protective, tooth-shaped cap placed over a weak or damaged tooth. A CEREC crown can be used for the following reasons:
- Restore the size or shape of a damaged tooth
- Cover a cracked or broken tooth
- Restore a tooth after a root canal
- Improve the appearance of a discolored or misshapen tooth
- Strengthen a weak tooth
- Cover an implant
- Cover the anchor teeth that support a bridge
The Benefits of CEREC
When you need a crown, you can choose from a variety of options, including metal crowns, porcelain crowns, resin crowns, and crowns that feature porcelain fused to metal. So why should you choose a CEREC crown? With these modern crowns, you can enjoy all of the following benefits:
- Your new crown will look, feel, and function like your other teeth.
- Conveniently, your crown can be placed in just one visit to the dentist.
- You will not need to sit through the messy, uncomfortable process of having an impression made.
- Instead of being fitted with two crowns (one temporary, one permanent), you will only need to have single CEREC crown placed.
- Your new crown will match your natural tooth color.
- Your new crown will not contain metal, so there will not be a tell-tale glimpse of metal at the gum line.
- CEREC crowns are stronger than many other types of crowns, because they are made from a single block of material.
- You will get an attractive and long-lasting crown quickly.
Could a CEREC crown solve your dental dilemma? To learn more about CEREC and explore your treatment options, schedule an appointment with Duff Family Dental today.