The acronym CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, but you may know it as a “same day crown.” Either way, it’s a fast, easy method to restore a tooth that your dentist has told you needs a crown. A CEREC is all-porcelain, with no metal, so they’re pretty and look like a natural tooth. A CEREC crown is made the very day you come into the office for your new crown, while you wait. No second appointment is needed, which means you do not have to wear a temporary crown for two to three weeks while the dental laboratory makes your new crown, as you would with a traditional crown! It saves you time in the dental chair and missed work time, as well as the nuisance of wearing a temporary crown.
So how does this work, you ask? Once the doctor tells you that you need a crown, you’ll come in the office, and the doctor will prepare the tooth by removing any old filling material, crown and/or decay. They will then take digital pictures of your tooth using a very high tech camera, which allows the computer to “stitch” together an image of your tooth and precisely what your crown should look like, so that it fits like a glove, perfectly. Once this is completed, the doctor will then use the computer to design the crown and put the finishing touches on it.
Next, the CAD/CAM milling machine will fabricate your crown out of a porcelain block. This step is pretty fast, usually about twelve minutes, but you may want to bring a book to read, something to do, or take a walk around the block as you wait. Once the milling process is complete, the doctor will try on the crown to ensure a perfect fit. At this point, the crown will go into our special E-Max “oven” to be fired so it’s very strong and extremely durable. Once out of the oven and cooled (about thirty minutes total), your crown is cemented into your mouth and you are ready to leave with a brand new tooth! The entire process from start to finish takes a couple of hours. And we think that’s pretty awesome!
If you’d like to learn more about CEREC crowns, or would like to schedule an appointment to come in for a CEREC crown, give us a call!