Restorative dentistry has renewed the smiles of thousands of people, and modern technology is making it faster and easier than ever. If you have missing, cracked, discolored or otherwise damaged teeth, it’s possible that a dentist utilizing CEREC equipment can restore your beautiful smile in a single day.
With much of the discomfort and convenience removed, dental restorations such as dental crowns are now less intimidating for patients and less time-consuming for dentists.
While dental crowns are a long-term solution to cover up damaged or discolored teeth, they traditionally required a lengthy processed that involved biting into a tray filled with a goopy substance, waiting for that substance to harden around your teeth, and then wearing a temporary crown while your impressions were sent to a separate lab for creation.
CEREC has changed the game by eliminating the goopy substance, the temporary dental crowns and the wait time. The equipment is housed in your dentist’s office, and your dentist maintains complete control of the restoration process from start to finish. Dentists now receive advanced training to create amazing tooth restorations, and the work is often completed in just one day.
CEREC equipment is well known as the same-day crown machine, but it can also help your dentist complete more complex tooth restorations without delay. This equipment is now used to replace old tooth fillings that are no longer functional or safe. Your dentist can use the machine to create fresh fillings made completely of ceramic that is colored to closely match your natural teeth.
Your dentist can also remove the decayed or damaged areas of your teeth and fill them in without the mercury fillings that were used in the past. This improves the strength and appearance of your tooth while keeping your gums and teeth healthier. This improved health will impact your entire body because there’s a direct connection between tooth decay and health of the heart and other organs.
Your dentist may also use the CEREC equipment to create ceramic veneers in the office. These small pieces of thin ceramic are designed to cover the front of your tooth for cosmetic purposes. In just one day, you can cover cracked, chipped, discolored or otherwise unattractive teeth for a smile that gives you greater confidence.
How Does the CEREC System Work?
When you arrive at your dentist’s office for same-day dental crowns or other restorative work utilizing the CEREC machine, your dentist will start by preparing your teeth for the procedure. Anesthesia is often administered to keep you comfortable, and then the decay and damage is eliminated from the tooth or multiple teeth.
The first step to the CEREC procedure is to make an impression or mold of the teeth that you want to restore. This once required you to bite into that goopy substance and wait for it to dry around your teeth, but now your dentist just needs to coat your teeth in a special powder and take a picture. The powder is tasteless, so this process is much faster and far more comfortable than the traditional process of creating crown impressions.
Instead of sending your hardened-goop impression off to a third-party lab and placing temporary dental crowns on your teeth, your dentist simply uploads the images of your powder-coated teeth to the CEREC machine right in the office. This equipment is designed to turn your pictures into 3D models that your dentist can manipulate right on the screen to create a precise restoration designed just for your teeth.
Once the design process is complete, your dentist will send the final 3D image to a milling machine that “prints” out your tooth restoration. This is done by inserting a block of tooth-colored ceramic into the milling machine and allowing it to carve out a precise rendering of your 3D design. This takes approximately 20 minutes per printing.
Once the milling machine completes its work, your dentist can apply the dental crowns, veneers or other restorative work directly to your teeth. You get in and out of the dental chair in a single day without the hassle of follow-up appointments to replace a temporary crown.