Digital Crowns in One Visit

Dentistry has evolved over considerably over the last decade and one of the biggest achievements has been the technology that allows us to rebuild broken or cracked teeth with precise digital crowns in one visit, using CEREC technology

What is CEREC®?

Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic or CEREC® for short is a new state-of-the-art method of reconstructing tooth restorations. CEREC® uses computer-assisted design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to offer single-day restorations for patients. This new technology has revolutionized ceramic restorations such as crowns and veneers for patients so that there is no longer a wait between preparing the restoration and finally receiving the finished product. The restorations created are metal-free and tooth colored to restore your tooth to its natural beauty, strength and function. With CEREC®’s CAD-CAM technology, these ceramic restorations can all be done in one single visit to the dentist.

The CEREC® Process

CEREC® uses CAD-CAM technology to design and mill custom restorations during one visit to the dentist. So how does this process work?

  • Exam and Preparation

    Before you get started, the dentist will scan your existing tooth. In many cases, the original tooth can be scanned so that the digital design can be based on your natural tooth structure, resulting in a much more precise and natural feeling crown. If you

  • Optical Impression

    Once the tooth has been cleaned of all decay and rebuilt on the inside, it is smoothed on all surfaces to make room for the crown, which can be though of as “replacement enamel” for your tooth. Then, In order to make the desired restoration, a 3-dimensional image of the tooth that needs to be restored must be created from a digital camera scan of the tooth. This three-dimensional image will be used to create the restoration without the need to take a messy impression. This means no horrible tasting impression material for you to gag on. The computer and CEREC® 3D software then converts the digital image into a three-dimensional virtual model of the prepared tooth. The dentist then uses his extensive training in the process to design a perfectly fitting, custom crown that restores your tooth back to its original idea shape

  • Milling Unit

    This device, similar to a 3-D Printer, is used to create the custom crown needed for the tooth. In just minutes, the crown is ready and after a few more minutes in a special treatment oven where it strengthens and takes on the natural white color of teeth, it is ready to be put on the tooth. The precision of the digital scan, design and digital milling process allows crowns that fit on your tooth like a glove, and don’t require the grinding on them to get them to feel normal, like the old 1950’s era metal crowns

  • Placing the Restoration

    After the restoration is made, the restoration is prepared and bonded into place by your dentist, using the latest bonding material (special dental “glue”) that makes sure the crown stays in place for a long time and does not have the risk of falling off like the old metal crowns. Therefore, no temporary restoration is needed and no return trip or more time off work is necessary, saving you time and money.

Advantages to Using CEREC®

CEREC® has revolutionized the restorative process. It was created with the patient in mind in order to make a visit to the dentist as pain-free as possible. Some of the benefits to using CEREC® are:

  • Most procedures can be done in one visit – less costly and less time-consuming
  • Metal-free restorations, no risk of lead (read more about lead in old-style crowns here)
  • No need to take messy impressions
  • No need to have a temporary crown for in-between visits, which can break or fall off easily and require even more visits
  • Ability to save as much natural tooth structure as possible
  • Longer lasting restorations – may last over 10 years
  • Restores teeth to natural beauty, function and strength