Our office is excited to offer Cerec services.
Traditionally, having a crown procedure took at least two visits - a first visit for shaping the tooth and taking impressions, and a second visit after a few weeks after the crown was fabricated at a dental laboratory.
Now, using Cerec's OmniCam, a highly sophisticated digital imaging camera, we precisely capture measurement data. Unlike previous versions of Cerec's camera systems (such as "Blue Cam"), the OmniCam is completely powder-less, thus making the imaging process much more comfortable and tidy.
Using the recorded data, your crown (or inlay / onlay) is carefully designed by the dentist using the Cerec 3-D CAD software. Every aspect of your crown is carefully planned, designed and reviewed prior to being brought to life.
We then place IPS e.max Press (Lithium Disilicate) blocks (a non-porcelain material with incredible strength and durability characteristics), or blocks made of other materials depending on the tooth restoration to be made, inside the Cerec milling unit, and then start the milling step.
Inside the milling unit, the block is precisely milled under water cooling / lubrication so that the outside as well as inside of the crown is milled according to the design dimensions.
After the unit is milled, it is stained and glazed to add additional color and natural looking stains. Then we use a Cerec glazing oven to fire the milled crown. This process "sinters" or finishes crystallizing the IPS e.max material, substantially adding to its strength and durability, as well enhancing its appearance.
F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions):
Q: What is Cerec?
A: Cerec is a system which allows our office to offer same-day crowns, as well as same-day inlays / onlays. We replace the impression and lab-fabrication steps when providing a crown. Instead of sending an impression to a dental laboratory and waiting a few weeks for the crown to be made, we capture precise measurement data by scanning it with the systems OmniCam. Then we mill and cement the crown in, all during the same appointment.
Q: How long does an appointment take?
A: Instead of the usual two one-hour appointments that a crown procedure took, we book a single appointment for two-hours. Normally, it takes a little less than the full scheduled time. After the dentist is finished shaping the tooth, patients can relax in the dental chair, reading a book, listening to music, or watching one of the many movies or TV shows that we offer.
Q: What are some of the benefits of having a Cerec crown?
Getting a crown is now a single visit - not two. Two appointments usually means two work days interrupted. Or two babysitting arrangements to make.
Also, receiving a crown is now a single anesthetic injection - not two. Normally the area receiving a crown was numbed to shape the tooth down, and then later numbed again to remove the temporary and deliver the crown.
Now with Cerec, there are no more temporary crowns. Even well made temporary crowns were sometime uncomfortable or cracked / fell out.
The design is completely controlled by the dentist, instead of a dental lab technician. While lab technicians do terrific jobs fabricating crowns, the dentist who just finished preparing the tooth a few minutes ago has more intimate knowledge of your mouth and areas surrounding the prepared tooth. They are also more familiar with the "margin" (the perimeter line or area separating the shaped area on the tooth structure.)
Q: Are the fees higher for Cerec crowns (compared to lab-fabricated crowns)?
A: No. Our office has opted to keep the fees the same as a conventional lab-fabricated crown. Our patients truly appreciate the convenience, comfort and beauty of our Cerec crowns.
Q: Do you use Cerec for all crowns?
A: We use Cerec for most crowns. However, computer systems still cannot replace the artistry required for cosmetic crowns and veneers. Therefore, we still have our cosmetic dental laboratory fabricate our veneers and crowns for anterior (front) teeth.
Q: Can I watch the crown being milled?
A: Definitely. Once the milling process start, patients may request to be taken to the milling station to watch their crown being milled. Milling normally takes 14 minutes.
Q: Will Cerec crowns last as long as lab-fabricated crowns?
A: Definitely. The blocks from which Cerec crowns are milled are made with by the same materials company that provides IPS e.max materials to dental labs. Also, by using the oven in the last step of the milling process, the IPS e.max is "sintered" or fired just as in the lab, to give it the same crystallized strength as lab-fabricated IPS e.max crowns. Of course, as with any restoration, it also depends on how well the patient maintains the crown.
Q: What are inlays / onlays?
A: Inlays and onlays are similar to fillings on the occlusal (chewing) surface. They are similar in that they replace just the cavity areas instead of the entire tooth, as with crowns. Inlays are restorations between the cusps of a tooth, while onlays include a cusp of the tooth. Inalys / onlays have traditionally been fabricated at dental laboratories out of porcelain or ceramic materials. These materials are much stronger than resin which fillings are made from, and therefore inlays / onlays can last much longer than fillings.