- Posted on: Oct 30 2018
At most dental practices, getting a crown involves at least two appointments. Not at Cosmetic Dentistry Center. Thanks to our advanced CEREC system, we can prepare your tooth for a crown, take measurements, mill the crown, and place it all in a single visit.
What is a crown?
If you have an old uncle, you may have heard him refer to his “caps.” And when he opens his mouth you see what he means. You can see each tooth that has a “cap” because they are gold…and quite obvious to the eye. Caps used to be the term for a crown, and they were usually made of gold alloy. It probably went that way because a gold crown over a tooth could be equated to the tooth wearing a “cap.”
Anyway, when a tooth has a serious chance of needing to be extracted, that’s when Dr. Walk or Dr. Bamel may need to talk with you about placing a crown on it. A crown is basically the only way to save a tooth with a deep crack, serious decay, or other problems that make saving the tooth difficult. A crown, as the name implies, fits over the entire visible (above the gum line) portion of the tooth returning strength to the underlying weakened natural portion of the tooth. Crowns are also used as the anchors for dental bridges.
Most dentists send out to dental labs for their crown fabrication, but that requires a second visit from the patient, plus there is a one- to two-week waiting period while the crown is being created. During that time patients need to wear a temporary crown.
What is CEREC?
CEREC is an acronym for a cool dental restoration fabrication system. It allows Dr. Walk or Dr. Bamel to restore decayed teeth, replace defective amalgam fillings, and place crowns in a single visit. Pretty sweet, eh?
CEREC stands for this:
- Chair side: All the technology is available right from your spot in the dental chair.
- Economical: The procedure is more economical than using a dental lab.
- Restorations: Your tooth is restored to its natural beauty, function, and strength.
- Esthetic: The restorations are metal-free and the color of your natural teeth.
- Ceramic: High-strength ceramics are used that closely resemble the appearance and sheen of your natural teeth.
How does CEREC work?
When dealing with the damaged tooth, we first remove the decay or other damaged tooth matter. Next, we shave off a portion of the healthy outer tooth to make room for the crown. Next, instead of loading up a mouthful of impression goop, we coat your tooth with a tasteless, non-toxic powder. We take digital pictures of your tooth, along with some other measurements, and send them to our CEREC system.
The CEREC 3D software takes the digital picture and converts it into a three-dimensional virtual model on the computer screen. From that 3D image, Dr. Walk or Dr. Bamel can design your crown in just a few minutes. That data is sent to a separate milling machine in the office that takes a ceramic block matching your natural tooth shade and shaves it down to create your crown. This process only takes from 10-20 minutes. Once CEREC has milled your crown, we check it for fit, bite, and color match, making adjustments as needed. When everything looks right, we cement the crown onto your tooth permanently, and you’re done. No second trip two weeks later required!
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Posted in: CEREC