Finding out you need a dental crown placed over a natural tooth is never going to be the most fun experience out there. It’s even less pleasant when you remember that you need to return for a second appointment for other dental restorations. If only there were a better way…
Well, luckily for you, it’s 2019, and there is an easier, faster, and more accurate way to get a crown: with the help of CEREC.
CEREC, which stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, is relatively new technology that uses computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) to quickly create accurate impressions fillings, and crowns.
There are many benefits to choosing CEREC dental crowns over a traditional dentist. For example, the scans created by CEREC 3D technology is a highly accurate method of creating a crown. Although the accidental displacement after your crown is typically a risk after your procedure, using CEREC technology, this risk is essentially eliminated.
One of the biggest benefits of CEREC dental crowns, however, is the fact that you can have a new crown in just one appointment. Not only does this save you time, but it can greatly reduce the unpleasant aspects of your dentist appointment by getting you in and out the door as quickly as possible.
But how exactly does CEREC work? Read on for a step-by-step guide to help you get familiar with the process.
Rather than creating a mold of your mouth, a CEREC machine will create an accurate 3D scan, which your dentist can use to reduce the time it takes to create crowns, inlays, and more.
The Old Way of Doing Things
With both conventional technology and CEREC technology, your first step will be getting a diagnosis. Your dentist will take an X-ray of your teeth and come to the conclusion that a crown is needed. In certain cases, your doctor might suggest as a root canal as a treatment option as well.
After this initial diagnostic period, however, the process differs from CEREC in many ways. Here is the conventional process:
- Your dentist will numb your tooth, and file it down to make enough room for the crown (possibly applying a filling, depending on the level of tooth decay).
- Using putty, your dentist will make a tooth impression to help size and shape your crown.
- After a few days or weeks, your impression will be used to create a crown. Depending on your level of tooth decay, you may have to use a temporary acrylic crown during this waiting period.
- During your second visit, your dentist will cement the crown to your tooth.
A Good First Impression
Traditionally, your dentist will take X-ray images of your damaged tooth and come to the conclusion that you need a crown. With CEREC, however, no X-rays are needed. Instead, a device called an intraoral scanner will use photographs of your teeth to create a highly accurate impression.
Once this impression is made, it will be sent to a machine that uses CAD/CAM software technology that will create a digital restoration. This means that it will outline the exact changes and alterations needed to restore your tooth.
A Perfect Match
After this process, the finished restoration will be sent to a milling machine that will use a ceramic block to create a physical crown. Using a machine, this process is reduced from a couple of weeks to less than 15 minutes.
After creating a ceramic crown, your dentist will cement it to your tooth. As it will be a perfect fit, there is virtually no chance it will accidentally be removed following your appointment, which is a risk in traditional procedures.
Life after Your CEREC Crown
Although there is a greatly reduced chance of accidental removal or damages with CEREC crowns, it is still important to care for your teeth after your crown procedure. You can improve your oral health and care for your crown by:
- Brushing and flossing daily can prevent future decay and improve your general oral health
- If you haven’t had a root canal, your tooth will still have a nerve ending may be sensitive to hot and cold for a while, which is something to be wary of
- If your dentist suggests it, you may use a high-fluoride gel along your gum line to prevent further decay
- Talking to your dentist should any damages occur—it is critical that you never try to solve a problem on your own, or ignore it in hopes that it will disappear
The Costs of CEREC Crowns
Ultimately, the cost of your dental work will depend on your dentist, your medical coverage, and your unique circumstances. For example, your procedure may be more expensive if your dentist believes you need a root canal.
If you believe you need a crown and are interested in CEREC procedures, consult your insurance provider to discuss coverage. CEREC technology is expensive for dentists to acquire and maintain, so often CEREC procedures will come at a higher cost. Where conventional crowns usually cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000, CEREC crowns might be up to $1,500 or more.
Finding a CEREC Dentist
Technically speaking, the true first step in a CEREC filling is to find a dentist well-equipped for the procedure. Although an increasing number of dentists are using digital technology such as CEREC, your current dentist may not be prepared, as the technology is still expensive and fairly new.
However, finding a CEREC-equipped dentist is far from a lost cause. We offer a toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-(855)-282-1699. You can also visit our website to learn more about the services we offer, the dentistry questions you may have and the dentists in your area.
If a crown is necessary to revitalize your smile, there’s no need to subject yourself to unneeded appointments and discomfort. With the help of CEREC technology and the right dentist, you can have a new smile without all the hassle.