It is amazing to see how technology is improving dental care for patients today. One of the most impressive advancements is the introduction of same-day CEREC dental crowns. While traditional dental crown procedures require at least two appointments, CEREC dental crowns provide a one-day restorative treatment with a natural-looking tooth, available for both cosmetic and restorative purposes. Here we look at CEREC dental crowns and how they can restore your teeth or smile in just a few hours.
What Are CEREC Dental Crowns?
Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC) dental crowns are crafted using computer-aided design (CAD) and manufacturing (CAM). CAD captures a digital image of your tooth and jaw and then uses CAM to produce the crown right in our office. CAM is basically what many refer to as a 3D printer.
What Is The Difference Between CEREC And Traditional Crowns?
The main difference is that CEREC dental crowns use CAM technology to craft your crown, while traditional crowns are crafted at a dental lab. However, there is more to it than that:
- Traditional crowns are available in a number of materials including porcelain/ceramic, metal and a combination of porcelain fused to metal; while CEREC dental crowns are made of ceramic
- Traditional crowns require messy impressions of your teeth using a putty material you bite into while CEREC crowns use easy CAD imaging
- Traditional crowns are crafted at a dental lab using your dental impressions, while CEREC dental crowns are created with a CAD system right in our office
- Traditional crowns require at least two dental appointments to take the impressions and then insert the crown, while CEREC is a single appointment incorporating both steps
- Traditional crowns take 2 weeks to craft while CEREC is crafted the same day
- Traditional crowns require a temporary crown be inserted while you wait for your new crown, while your permanent CEREC dental crown is applied the same day
CEREC provides a far easier treatment for instant repair or improved appearance of your teeth.
How Do Same-Day CEREC Appointments Work?
Your CEREC same-day appointment makes your crown procedure much easier. We first use a small intraoral camera to take 3D images of your tooth and jaw. The images are then used to create a digital 3D image of your tooth and crown. With the help of a computer, the fit and look of your new crown are very precise. We can edit the design to ensure every detail is captured to match your natural tooth.
Once ready, the computer sends the designs to the milling machine, which quickly and efficiently crafts the tooth using a single ceramic block. In just a few minutes your crown is ready for inspection. We will make adjustments to ensure it is perfect, including changes to the colour if required. We then cement it firmly in place.
When Are Dental Crowns Recommended?
Dental crowns are used to repair teeth that are too damaged for fillings, inlays, or onlays. A crown is recommended when tooth damage is severe, but your tooth and root are still healthy enough to save them. Also known as caps, crowns are used to cover the damaged tooth to protect it from bacteria and further decay.
However, dental crowns are also used as a cosmetic treatment to improve the appearance of your teeth. Because of their natural appearance and comfortable bite, this is an excellent choice for many different cases, including:
- Teeth that have damage too big for a filling
- Broken or cracked teeth
- Replacing missing teeth in hand with a bridge
- Protection for weak teeth to prevent breaking
- Cosmetic solutions for gapped, discoloured, cracked, chipped, or stained teeth, as well as teeth that are too short, too long, or misshapen
- To cover dental implants as a tooth replacement solution
If you are interested in exploring CEREC dental crowns as a cosmetic solution, we can discuss your options and provide a treatment plan.
What Are The Benefits Of CEREC Dental Crowns?
There are many benefits to choosing CEREC crowns over traditional, including:
- Time savings: Since CEREC is a same-day procedure, you don’t have to take more time away from work or your day-to-day activities
- No waiting for lab time: As above, the same-day crafting of the crown means you don’t have to wait, or have an unstable temporary crown for two weeks while you wait for the lab to finish your crown
- Affordable: While it might seem CEREC would be more expensive than traditional crowns, thanks to the technology and time savings, there is little difference in cost
- Less invasive: Getting messy impressions with putty can be uncomfortable, while the 3D camera is tiny and quick
- Less drilling: CEREC dental crowns require less prep and drilling than traditional crowns
Are CEREC Dental Crowns For Everyone?
There are some cases where traditional crowns might be recommended over CEREC. For example, if you experience a fracture below the gum line, a traditional crown often provides a better fit. This is because the intraoral camera cannot always capture images as effectively when the damage is below the gum line. Some dentists recommend metal over ceramic for molars with more damage, as it tends to withstand the pressure placed on teeth surfaces.
When Is CEREC The Best Choice?
If you are looking for a quick cosmetic solution you can’t do better than CEREC. In just a few hours you can have the perfect smile you always wanted. However, CEREC is not just a cosmetic solution. We prefer CEREC for our patients as they do not require a temporary crown. Temporary crowns must be worn for at least two weeks while waiting for your traditional crowns to be crafted. This puts your tooth at risk for further damage.
Because the fit is not ideal, temporary crowns can easily fall out. As well, they can also allow bacteria to get into your tooth which can lead to decay. With CEREC there is no wait and your teeth have restored function immediately. There are no worries about altered speech or self-conscious smiles, as there are with a temporary crown, and it will also not interfere with healthy eating.