“Oh WOW…that’s amazing”. This is the most common reaction when patients are involved in seeing a CEREC crown being created for their own mouth. I must admit that even though I have been doing this type of dentistry for nearly fifteen years and make them every day, I also find it a little amazing. Sara Couch, Principal Dentist.
What is CEREC Dentistry?
CEREC is a type of CAD-CAM dentistry where a combination of a computer and a milling machine can be used to create a customised piece of ceramic that will replace tooth structure that has been lost due to decay or fracture. This technique is especially suitable for the replacement of large amalgam fillings.
“In my opinion the great advantage of this procedure, over the use of a traditional dental crown, is that it allows us to provide the same strength and protection from fracture for the tooth but without the need to remove as much of the natural tooth. This will enhance the longevity of the tooth,” said Sara Couch, Principal Dentist.
One Appointment Crowns
The whole process can be completed in one appointment and most people find it quite stress free and rather interesting!
Firstly the old filling is removed in the normal way, usually involving the placing of a “rubber dam” to prevent bits of amalgam debris from getting in your mouth and being swallowed.
Any fractured pieces of tooth are also removed and then a series of digital images are taken using a special camera.
How CEREC works
At this point you get to rest and watch the next part of the procedure on our computer screen. The CEREC computer constructs a virtual 3 dimensional model of your tooth.
The next steps:
- We design the shape that your new tooth should be so that it fits perfectly into your tooth and is the correct shape.
- We select the shade and type of tooth coloured material from which your tooth will be made. Many new and exciting dental materials are available to us as the CAD CAM process is very versatile and allows a wide range of innovative materials to be milled.
- The information from the computer is then sent to the milling machine.
- Approx 15 minutes later, your new tooth is ready to be firmly glued into place.
How long does it take?
The whole procedure usually takes an hour and a half. You get an opportunity to have a break in the middle of the appointment and it avoids the need for:
- temporary crowns
- a second visit.