CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. What it really means is a new tooth in about 2 hours. Imagine having a crown, veneers or onlay done in one sitting! No temporaries ! No second appointment ! Because the whole restoration is made from very strong, tooth colored ceramic there will never be an ugly black line where the crown ends - everything blends in and looks very natural !
Unlike the traditional crown/veneers process of taking a putty impression and sending it off to a lab CEREC uses a combination of infrared imaging, CAD CAM computer design and a very precise milling unit that allows the restoration to be made by Dr Giannos right in the office.
Why a CEREC restoration instead of a conventional one?
- Less time in the dental chair - only one appointment, not two ; only need to be numbed once.
- Many lab crowns have a metal substrate that porcelain is bonded to. Cerec crowns are all porcelain - this means lower chances of allergic or immune response to the material in the crown.
- Cost is the same in our office for either type of restoration. (Cerec or conventional)
- Less chance for complications - because temporary restorations are cemented with temporary cement it can wash out and leak or have other discrepancies that can sometimes lead to increased sensitivity When the restoration is started and finished in one appointment, the tooth structure is better sealed off and protected at an earlier stage with the result that risk of complications and/or sensitivity can be lowered.
- Sometimes life happens! An unforseen event (illness, accident) can lead you to have a temporary in your mouth for longer than recommended which may lead to recurrent decay and the new crown not fitting. With Cerec you are done- no second appointment needed.
- Cerec procedure has a built in break! Once the design process begins, you are free to stretch out, make a phone call, or even have additional dentistry such as a filling done - further shortening the number of visits you might need. There is a time frame of about 10 to 25 minutes in the middle of the appointment where the crown unit is being designed/fabricated and your presence is not needed unless you elect to have other needed treatment accomplished in that time slot.
- Cerec is GREEN (environmentally friendly), it is efficient and it SAVES you MONEY ($).
- Fewer materials used - with digital impressions there is no impression materials going into landfills
- Fewer appointments mean fewer miles driven in your car for transportation.
- Fewer appointments mean fewer wasted disposable materials
How does it work?
After the tooth is prepared an infrared camera takes a 3D picture of the tooth and a CAD CAM computer program creates a three-dimensional virtual models that can be viewed and manipulated on the computer monitor. Dr Giannos then uses the program to design the crown, veneer or onlay that will replace the missing tooth structure. This usually takes about three to five minutes. Next a porcelain block is selected, is inserted into a milling machine and the software program sends a signal to the milling machine to create the design in porcelain. This takes about 6 to 14 minutes. Once completed, the crown is polished, tried in the mouth, adjusted and bonded into place. The entire process takes about 2 hours and there is a period of about ½ hour for design and milling that can be used to accomplish other needed dental work.
Are there any drawbacks or contradictions to Cerec crowns?
This technology can be used to accomplish almost all single crowns, onlays or veneers. Sometimes where aesthetic results are a high priority, an exact color match of surrounding teeth can be difficult and in these cases a laboratory technician may be able to produce better aesthetics with a laboratory fabricated and stained crown. Also if the tooth is bigger than the available porcelain block we would need to send out for the crown. At the present time, we are not able to build bridges in one appointment with Cerec. In almost all other cases, we would confidently recommend a Cerec crown in place of a laboratory-fabricated crown.
Will my Cerec crown last as long as a lab crown?
Any crown with porcelain in its structure carries risk of fracture. Although metal crowns do not have this risk they also don't look natural. We warrant all of our crowns the same – five years – against breakage under normal wear conditions (not for accidents, recurrent decay, or if the crown is drilled into for endodontics) as long as the patient is following our recommendations for care, and maintaining regular recall with our hygeinists. Our policy is identical for Cerec crowns and for laboratory crowns. Most crowns have a life expectancy of 7 to 10 years and many will last decades – even lifetimes.