March 20, 2015
If you have a damaged or decayed tooth, a crown is the most recommended procedure to repair the tooth structurally and cosmetically. Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, from ceramic alloys to metals like aluminum or gold, and are traditionally produced in a lab.
This procedure used to take several visits, with up to a month in between for the lab to process precise color and size measurements, produce the crown, and return it to the dental office. With Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction, (CEREC), this entire procedure can be now performed in a single visit that takes just a few hours.
CEREC is a completely digital tool that scans the affected area and produces a crown through a single interface. Using a wand with a laser camera, the dentist produces a 3d model of the damaged tooth and surrounding structure. This model automatically generates a crown model that the dentist can adjust to make the fit more precise, and the color more true to the rest of your teeth.
Once the model is finalized, a milling machine sculpts the ceramic crown on site down to the micrometer. The crown can then be installed immediately.
Although CEREC technology is revolutionary, it is not perfect. Then again, neither are lab technicians. The best indicator for the quality of a crown will ultimately be the skill and commitment of the dentist who is producing it.
Nevertheless, many doctors recommend that CEREC crowns only be installed in molars and rear teeth, because the cosmetic quality is not as high as a handcrafted crown.
There is also the question of fit. It is important that gap between the crown and the tooth is as small as possible to prevent bacteria from getting in. CEREC crowns have been shown to have smaller gaps than non-digitally produced crown models, even from the lab.
Even though lab-produced crowns typically look better, it’s most important that the shape of the crown be true to the shape of the tooth itself. CEREC crowns are also often substantially less expensive than other crowns, and are covered by the same insurance policies.
If you are interested in CEREC technology, we invite you to come by to Schaumburg Dental Studio and learn about the procedure from the doctor himself. Dr. Patel is a huge fan of this technology, and is always eager to share his enthusiasm for CEREC with his patients. You can see the machine, how it works, and the crowns it produces all on the Schaumburg Dental Studio Video. LEARN MORE: Crown in A Day in Schaumburg or Request An Appointment