What is a CEREC crown?
CEREC or Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics is a highly advanced dental system used to create inlays, onlays, crowns, veneers, surgical guides and abutments, all in-house. CEREC comes with CAD/CAM or computer-aided design/computer aided manufacturing to create a crown that perfectly fits your damaged tooth. The CAD/CAM will be used by your dentist to take impressions of your teeth. The images taken, are used to create a digital modal of your teeth to fit the crown. We then design the desired area to be fitted into your mouth (as shown in images below). After designed the tooth, we mill the tooth on the CEREC Milling Unit in the practice, on a block based on the CAD/CAM modal, and is perfectly shaded to match the colour of your natural teeth. It is then bonded, all of this in one day.
What are the benefits of CEREC crowns?
One of the most beneficial parts of a CEREC crown is that it looks and feels like a real tooth. The ceramic material is matched to your tooth’s color and the 3D imaging technology accurately fits the crown to your bite and gum line. Some traditional crowns are made from metal and you can often see them poking out of your tooth. The CEREC crown process is typically more comfortable for patients and easier to fit into your schedule with just one appointment. If you practice good oral hygiene, CEREC crowns have been proven to be just as durable and last between five and 15 years like a traditional crown.
How does Cerec technology work?
CEREC is an advanced computerised system that enables our trained dental team to create highly detailed tooth-coloured restorations in a single appointment. Our on-site milling machine will fabricate your restoration while you sit back and relax. This customised restoration piece is then fitted, polished and bonded to your existing tooth, thus supporting and strengthening your tooth structure. This is dental technology at its best.
With cutting edge technology crown treatment can now be done in as little as 90 minutes. Cerec crowns have made the long, cumbersome process of being fitted for a crown a thing of the past. How this is possible? In the past we have always expected a crown to take weeks and multiple visits. Advances in technology have turned crowns into a same day treatment!
The benefits exist due to the materials used. The specially designed porcelain closely resembles the physical characteristics of natural teeth. This enables it to expand and contract like the adjacent tooth upon heating and cooling. It minimises the stress points along the filling/tooth interface, providing a much longer lasting filling.
The traditional vs. CEREC crown process
The traditional dental crown process typically requires more than one appointment. Traditional crowns can be made of a variety of materials such as all metal, all ceramic, porcelain fused to metal, zirconia or porcelain fused to zirconia. Your dentist will take the following steps for placing a crown on your tooth:
- Take x-rays of your damaged tooth to figure out if you do need a crown and recommend root canal therapy if needed.
- Numb your tooth and file down the edges to make room for the crown. If there’s too much of the tooth missing, your dentist may use a filling material to help the tooth support the crown.
- Use a putty to make an impression above and below your tooth to measure the correct size for the crown so it doesn’t affect your bite or spacing.
- The impression will be sent to a lab where your crown will be made in about two weeks. You may have a temporary crown during the waiting period that’s made of acrylic.
- After the crown arrives at your dentist’s office, you will go in for a second visit to cement the crown on your tooth.
CEREC crowns only require one appointment. All CEREC crowns are made from ceramic and can be used for severely decayed, misshapen or broken teeth just like a traditional crown. Your dentist will still take x-rays of your teeth, recommend root canal therapy if needed and file your tooth the same way they would for a traditional crown. For the CEREC crown process, your dentist will do the following after the initial crown preparation:
- Use an intraoral scanner to take photos of your teeth and create a digital impression.
- The impression is sent to the CAD/CAM software machine that then creates a digital tooth restoration.
- The finished restoration is sent to a milling machine that creates the physical crown out of a ceramic block. This process only takes up to 15 minutes.
- Your dentist will polish and shade match the completed crown and then cement it to your tooth.
Are CEREC crowns more expensive?
CEREC crowns cost the same as traditional crowns, but it requires one less visit which could save you an extra co-pay. CEREC crowns are covered by dental insurance, but the level depends on your provider. You can speak with your insurance provider about how much of the procedure they will cover before you decide on a CEREC crown.
How do I take care of my teeth after I get a CEREC crown?
Your crowned tooth may be sensitive for a few days after the procedure. Try to avoid sticky or chewy foods right after your crown is placed. Continue brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing once a day. Your dentist might also recommend fluoride mouthwash to better clean your teeth or a sensitivity toothpaste to help curb hot and cold sensitivity. It’s important to continue good dental hygiene as crowned teeth are still susceptible to decay near the gum line. Continuing your relationship with us by keeping up with your semi-annual cleanings and exams will aid in prolonging a lifelong healthy smile.