What is CEREC Technology?
CEREC technology, also known as CAD/CAM (computer aided design & computer aided manufacturing), is a state-of-the-art method that uses computer design software and machinery for 3D fabrications. You can find this technology used in many industries.
CAD-CAM technology streamlines the fabrication of dental restorations into a single visit. CEREC can be used for inlays, onlays, and crowns. The process involves just a few steps that can be completed in just a couple of hours. The CEREC process includes:
Exam and Preparation
During the dental exam, Dr. Siegelman and Dr. Ng can determine if CEREC may be a good choice based on the extent of repair that is needed. After reviewing treatment options and confirming with the patient that they would like a same-day crown. For your CEREC appointment, the doctor begins the process by administering appropriate anesthetics to numb the area around the tooth. Dr. Siegelman and Dr. Ng use precise techniques to improve patient comfort. The tooth is prepared via the removal of damaged tooth structure.
Traditionally, impressions for dental crowns involve a putty-like material. CEREC crowns rely on digital impressions. These are obtained by inserting a small digital camera over the tooth. A scan is taken and transferred to the CEREC 3D software, which composes a three-dimensional model of the tooth. No messy impressions are needed, and the result is more precise than traditional methods. Dr. Siegelman and Dr. Ng then design the crown chairside using the 3D software. Once they are pleased with the shape and size, it’s time to fabricate the restoration.
CEREC crowns and restorations are made in our in-office milling machine. The machine takes the digital model of the tooth and carves the crown from a solid block of ceramic. The dentist selects the correct color of ceramic based on a shade chart that depicts the natural color of the patient’s teeth. We add customized shading details to the crown by hand with paint and glazes; then, much like pottery, the crown is finished in an oven/kiln.
The prepared crown is placed over the tooth to assess its color and fit. Rarely are adjustments needed. The restoration just needs polishing and then it is bonded over the tooth.
How Do We Utilize The Technology?
We use the latest in digital dental technology in our office for crowns, digital impressions, restorations, implantology, and surgical guides. CEREC technology is most commonly used for crown restorations. Our office pioneered CEREC dental technology and has been fabricating CEREC crowns for over 15 years! With the CEREC crown system, we offer a conservative approach to traditional crowns and we’re able to preserve more natural tooth structure. We skillfully create precise and efficient crown restorations that can be completed in a single visit. With CEREC technology, there is no longer two appointments and a waiting period for crown restorations. Our surgical guides are also constructed with CAM technology to bring accuracy and ease to implant surgery. Digital impressions are captured with CAD technology. This computerized process eliminates the traditional materials of the past, which can be messy and a concern for those with a sensitive gag reflex. The digital method simplifies dental impressions and it’s not only more convenient, it’s also more precise – which means a superior end result!
By utilizing the latest in technology we provide modern dentistry bringing you highly efficient and stress-free appointments.
Who are the Ideal Candidates for CEREC-based Procedures?
Most patients who are in need of a dental crown for a permanent tooth qualify for CEREC treatment. The primary difference between CEREC crowns and traditional crowns is that they are made in a single-visit. This makes CEREC treatment ideal for many of our busy or anxious patients who prefer to avoid multiple visits and procedures. In addition to working well for patients who need a crown, CEREC technology is also advantageous for replacing old restorations like crowns and fillings that have degraded over time.
How Much Do CEREC-Based Procedures Cost?
The CEREC procedure is both convenient and cost-effective. When considering the cost of care, patients should keep in mind that they will need only one visit to receive their new crowns. Additionally, because there is no wait time between preparing teeth and seating the crowns, there is no cost associated with temporary crowns. The cost of CEREC treatment can vary based on the extent of the broader treatment plan, the inclusion of ancillary procedures like dental fillings, and the number of crowns being made. Costs may also be offset by insurance coverage. During the consultation, our team sits with the patient to outline estimated costs, so there are no questions about the cost of care.
Does Insurance cover CEREC-based Procedures?
Patients should contact their insurance provider directly to confirm the scope of their coverage. That said, CEREC crowns are usually covered by insurance to the same degree as other dental crowns.
How Long Do CEREC Crowns Last?
The lifespan of CEREC crowns may be slightly longer than traditional crowns. Research data estimates that these custom-made crowns may last from 10 to 15 years or more as opposed to the standard seven to 15 years for a standard lab-made crown. Patients with dental crowns, CEREC or traditional, are encouraged to avoid biting and chewing on hard objects to protect their restoration from unnecessary damage.
Are CEREC Dental Crowns Safe?
CEREC dental crowns have a strong reputation for effectiveness, durability, and cosmetic value. Each custom-made crown is milled from a solid block of dental ceramic. The material looks very much like natural enamel and can withstand the force of biting and chewing very well. In addition to being a metal-free option for tooth restoration, CEREC crowns also fit incredibly well. The fit of a CEREC crown may surpass that of a traditional lab-made crown thanks to the sophisticated digital impressions and computer imaging technology involved in the fabrication process. Because the crowns fit so well, there is little risk of damage to the underlying tooth from bacteria provided that the patient practices good oral hygiene that includes brushing and flossing every day.