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CEREC - The Next Revolution in Dentistry

When treating severe decay, fractures or even tooth pigmentation, dentists can perform a variety of procedures to restore lost dental function and esthetics. One such procedure is CEREC crowns, an oral rehabilitation system that has revolutionized the way dentistry is done.


What are CEREC crowns?

First of all we must keep in mind that crowns are a type of restoration that covers the entire tooth structure and has among its functions to achieve functional and aesthetic rehabilitation, in addition to protecting the remaining tooth structure.

Generally this treatment requires two or more appointments (several days apart) since the dental impressions must be taken, the provisional crown must be made and placed, then the adjustment, color and contact tests of the definitive crown must be done and finally there is the appointment to place and cement it.

Fortunately for many patients, thanks to CEREC technology, both the design and fabrication of the crown can be performed in a single session. This is possible because both processes are guided by a CAD-CAM computer, making it the most advanced dental prosthetic system.


What does CEREC stand for?

CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. This system is also known as same day crowns.


Are CEREC crowns as good as traditional crowns?

With this restorative procedure, affected teeth can be reconstructed avoiding the use of temporary crowns, reducing working time by approximately 80%, considerably increasing patient comfort and restoring function and esthetics in a single intervention.

The same day crowns system consists of a powerful computer, a digital scanner, a dental prosthesis design software, a milling unit to manufacture the prostheses and a furnace.

These are the elements that allow the dental crown to be manufactured in the clinic itself (without the need to resort to the dental laboratory) in an efficient, fast and precise way with the best materials available on the market.


How does CEREC work?

The dentist will first examine the affected tooth to establish a diagnosis and determine the most appropriate treatment. If a same day crown is indicated, the dentist will prepare the tooth for the procedure by removing decay (if present) and/or reshaping the surface so that the crown can fit properly.

Up to this point, the step-by-step procedure is similar to that of a traditional crown, but what differentiates the CEREC crown system is the following steps.

CEREC vs traditional crown:

- Step 1: The dentist takes a digital impression of the prepared tooth with the scanner, then these digital images are sent to the CEREC system for analysis.

- Step 2: The images obtained are integrated by advanced software that will produce a virtual 3D model. This model is used to design a functional restoration with an excellent esthetic finish.

It should be noted that in addition to being obtained in a few minutes, this design is more accurate than the one obtained when a crown is made with the traditional procedure. And once finished, it is sent to the manufacturing machine that is in the same dental office.

- Step 3: Based on the submitted design, the CEREC fabrication unit will create the dental crown. To do this, a ceramic block (very similar in color to the patient's teeth) is placed in a 3D milling machine that will sculpt it. This process usually takes about 20 minutes.

- Step 4: Consists of placing the crown on the tooth to check that the fit is perfect, as well as making the final touches. Once everything is verified to be correct, the crown is cemented and polished.


Advantages of the CEREC system

· High esthetics: Same day crowns offer a better finish than many traditional metal-ceramic restorations. They are designed to resemble the tooth involved as closely as possible, both in shape and color, and easily adapt to the natural appearance of the teeth.


· Fit: They are characterized by a very precise fit both with the tooth they cover (as they are correctly cemented, adhesion is absolute) and with neighboring and antagonist teeth, which increases patient comfort.


· Speed: It is no secret that dental esthetics is very important, and when the teeth that are compromised are the front teeth this can generate problems and insecurities in the patient.

It is here where one of the advantages of this system stands out: its speed, since it is not necessary to schedule several appointments to perform it and therefore the patient does not have to wait to get the results they want.

CEREC technology allows patients to go home with their final dental crowns the same day they are designed and their teeth are ground, without the need for temporary crowns!


· Durability: They have a good resistance to the forces exerted when chewing food since they are prosthetic rehabilitations of the highest quality. They can be kept in perfect condition for approximately 15 years.


· Convenience: This procedure is much more comfortable than a traditional crown as it eliminates certain elements that are usually uncomfortable for the patient, such as the conventional impression. Instead, images are obtained through an intraoral camera that scans the mouth quickly and easily and without discomfort.


· It allows visualization: Computer-aided design consists of a screen that allows the patient to visualize their new restoration before they have it in their mouth by watching the three-dimensional design process as it occurs.


· Low invasive technique: Due to its high precision the preparation required is conservative, allowing to preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible.


· Manufacturing material: Same day crowns are fabricated from high-quality biocompatible ceramics, which are also anti-abrasive and plaque-resistant.


· Indications: This system is indicated in wide restorations where little healthy tooth tissue remains, in fractures or when tooth structure is weakened and support and protection are needed.

It can be used to replace amalgams with a ceramic prosthesis of high esthetics and biocompatibility, in implant-supported crown and as a restoration after root canal treatment.


How much do CEREC crowns cost?

By avoiding middlemen such as the dental lab, other procedures like fabrication and placement of a temporary crown, and the need for more appointments with the dentist, all of this translates into lower costs than with a traditional crown.

The cost of a CEREC crown in Morley, WA can range from approximately $1350, of course this will also depend on the complexity of the case, the number of teeth affected, etc.


It is important to mention that CEREC technology is not only used in the fabrication of dental crowns, but it can also be used in inlays, onlays and veneers.

CEREC is undoubtedly an innovative system as it allows restoring the tooth in a single appointment without losing more days in the work, achieving a natural look and color, a precise fit and avoiding discomfort to patients. If you are interested in this treatment do not hesitate to consult your dentist!

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