Single Visit Crowns and Inlays- CEREC
CEREC is an acronym for CEramic REConstruction. CEREC restorations are made of high quality tooth-coloured dental porcelain. They are very strong and highly durable restorations that can be colour-matched to your natural tooth.
A CEREC restoration can be a full crown, a partial crown, an onlay or an inlay.
The wonderful thing about CEREC restorations is that they are usually finished in a single appointment. To fully appreciate how convenient this is, lets look at how a traditional crown is made.
Making a traditional crown, inlay or onlay
A traditional crown generally needs two appointments, (and therefore generally two local anaesthetic injections as well). In the first appointment, the tooth is prepared (old fillings, decay and weak tooth structure is removed). Then an impression of the tooth is made using impression paste. Lastly, a temporary crown or restoration is made and bonded with temporary cement.
In the second traditional crown appointment, which generally occurs about two weeks later, the temporary crown is removed from the anaesthetised tooth and the new crown is permanently bonded into place.
Making CEREC crowns, inlays or onlays
The CEREC restoration usually just needs a single visit. The tooth is anaesthetised and prepared. Then, instead of having an impression made using impression paste, the tooth is sprayed with a powder to prevent light reflection, and scanned by a digital imaging camera. This camera captures a three-dimensional image of the prepared tooth, and uploads it to the CEREC computer. The dentist uses the software to design the new ceramic restoration around the image of the prepared tooth.
This design is saved and wirelessly sent to a milling machine within the practice. A block of appropriately-coloured ceramic is placed in the machine, and generally within twenty minutes the CEREC restoration is ready to be bonded to the tooth!
In a single appointment, you have an aesthetic, durable and strong ceramic restoration: no impression paste, no temporary restorations and no further appointment required!
Like all crowns, CEREC restorations may need maintenance or replacement in the future. It is possible to chip or crack a CEREC crown, just as it is possible to chip or crack a natural tooth. CEREC crowns need to be thoroughly cleaned every day, and are designed with access for toothbrush and floss in mind.