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Faster, Better Crowns with CEREC

  • June 1, 2015

When you need a crown (resulting from injury, infection, or decay, or after a root canal), it can be a long, inconvenient process that involved a lot of waiting. Crowns are designed specifically to fit your teeth, and to do that takes weeks of painstaking work in a specialized labs outside your dentist’s office. This can be a real pain, because you’ll need to make time for at least two appointments: during the first appointment, the dentist will need to determine how to treat your problem, and then create a physical impression (or mold) of your teeth, which is used to design the crown. Weeks later at your second appointment you have your crown placed (if it actually fits correctly).

That in itself is pretty inconvenient, but all that waiting can be very dangerous. Between your first and second appointment, your damaged tooth needs to be protected; usually, this means a temporary crown will be placed. Temporary crowns have a very bad tendency to break or come loose; if this happens, bacteria will be able to enter your broken tooth and cause an infection. This can lead to further decay, or even a root canal, which will add further, time, pain, and cost to the entire process.

In our Columbia, SC dental practice (Total Dental Care of South Carolina), we have eliminated all that wasted time (and therefore, the need for easily-broken temporary crowns which can lead to serious disease). In fact, we can get your crown designed, made, and placed within a single appointment, using the breakthrough technology that is CEREC Same-Day Crowns.

Time is of the Essence!

Your time is valuable, and of course you want to get the most value for your dental dollar when you need a reparative dental procedure, like a crown. Traditionally, crowns take a very long to design and make: this wastes your time and puts you at risk for infection (at the very least, this will represent a considerable increase in cost, both monetarily and in terms of time).

CEREC eliminates the “time threat” by using a combination of superior materials, rapid, automated manufacturing technology, and fast, accurate digital imaging.

How Does CEREC Save Me Time (and Possibly Money)?

CEREC takes advantage of multiple technologies to reduce a weeks-long process down to under an hour.

It all begins with getting an impression of your teeth. Instead of time-consuming (and often inaccurate) physical impressions, we will take a digital impression. Traditional, physical impressions are made by placing a dental tray (similar to a mouthguard) in your mouth that is full of a material that is similar to plaster. You must sit very patiently as the plaster sets, creating a mold around your teeth (this takes a considerable amount of time). Once the impression is made, your dentist will need time to examine it and design your crown before it can even be sent to the lab for fabrication.

Digital impressions are made using digital x-rays that are much more accurate than physical molds. These digital files are then sent to a computer, where advanced engineering software produces a design for your crown in seconds (your dentist may need to make some modifications). This entire process is complete in only a few minutes.

The design is then transmitted to an automatic milling machine. “Milling” is the technical term for fabricating a crown. Instead of slow, delicate work done by a human, the automatic milling machine will “carve” your crown from a block of solid porcelain (the porcelain will be a shade that matches your other natural teeth). Once again, this only takes a few minutes to accomplish.

In the same appointment, your crown will be placed. Because they are based on digital images, and the design is created with the aid of CAD/CAM software (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing software, the same type of software used by engineers in industrial design and architecture), CEREC crowns are much more accurate: this results in a superior fit, and it also allows us to save severely damaged teeth, even those broken below the gum line (before CEREC, these teeth would be extracted).

Why Porcelain?

Porcelain has long-been used by dentists for dental restorations (including crowns, but also bridges and veneers). Porcelain is a type of ceramic. No other material has been discovered or designed that matches porcelain as a dental restoration. This is true both in how it looks in your mouth (porcelain and your natural teeth are translucent in a very similar way, making porcelain very difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate from your teeth) and durability (porcelain that is used in dentistry is extremely strong, making it ideal for the effective, compromise-free grinding and chewing of food). Porcelain is also stain resistant, and won’t cause you to have an allergic reaction, like metal might.

Are You Ready For The Next Generation of Dental Crowns?

If you’re weighing your options and trying to decide where you should go for your reparative procedure and dental crown, CEREC’s speed, accuracy, and durability makes it hands-down the superior option.

Dial 803-272-4162 today, or click here to reach our online appointment form.


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