The doctors generally place dental crowns to help protect damaged teeth. If a patient has one or more damaged teeth, the doctors can place a crown to keep the tooth from suffering further damage. A dental crown will also restore a natural, healthy-looking smile to the patient’s face. Occasionally, a patient may have a cavity so large that the existing tooth structure can no longer support a filling. In this case, the doctors can replace the filling with a dental crown, providing structure and durability to the tooth, while preventing the tooth from suffering further damage. Some patients who have lost one or more teeth may opt for a dental bridge to replace the tooth. Most dental bridges have crowns on either end that fit over the teeth on each side of the gap, holding the bridge securely in place. Dr. Goodwill & Dr. Majidian will sometimes use dental crowns in situations other than repairing teeth. When the doctors perform a root canal, they will often use dental crowns to cover the site of the treatment after cleaning out the tooth. We can also use crowns to restore dental implants.
CEREC stands for “Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics,” and while that might be a mouthful, the way it works is actually relatively straightforward. Using in-house computer-aided design/manufacturing technology, the team at Cornerstone Dental can perform every step of the crown-making process right in our dental office in a single day, from preparing the tooth to taking the impression to actually milling and placing the crown.
Once a digital impression of your damaged tooth is taken, this is sent to CEREC’s software, which enables your dentist to quickly and precisely design your crown. When they are finished, a milling machine uses a single block of dental porcelain to literally sculpt the crown according to their design. At this point, your dentist will place the new crown onto your tooth, making any necessary adjustments so that the fit is just right. When everything looks and feels good, the crown will be bonded into place, and you’ll be able to leave our dental office with a completely renewed tooth.
As with most dental procedures, getting a crown with CEREC will start with an exam performed by one of our dentists. During this, they will assess the damage to your tooth and determine whether or not a crown would be the best solution. If it is, then they can begin the CEREC process.
The first step is to slightly reshape the tooth in order to help a crown fit securely over it. Then, using a digital scanner, your dentist will create a 3D model of your tooth. Compared to the traditional way impressions are usually taken (using dental putty), this process is much faster and way more comfortable by comparison.
This model will enable your dentist to determine the perfect shape for your crown, and then their plan will be sent to our milling machine. When the crown is made, your dentist will place it onto your tooth.
If you’ve had a traditional crown placed in the past, you may have some questions about CEREC crowns. We want you to feel completely comfortable with the restorations we place in your mouth, which is why we’re taking the opportunity to answer some questions now. Please take a look at our responses, but if you find you still have questions, let us know, and we’ll happily address your concerns.
Aside from the obvious benefit of getting your dental crown in one appointment instead of two or more, CEREC crowns have many other pluses. Because we create the crown right here in our office, if there is a problem with the fit, we can easily correct it immediately; in contrast, traditional crowns have to be shipped back to the lab for rework, which entails yet another appointment and more time wearing an ill-fitting temporary crown. In addition, for CEREC crowns, you don’t have to endure having goopy putty in your mouth for the impressions. Our digital technology is much more accurate and definitely more comfortable for you.
Traditional crowns require a separate appointment, up to a month later. By comparison, CEREC crowns can be completely designed, milled, and placed in a single appointment, often in one hour. Before we bond the crown in place, we’ll make sure it fits perfectly and seamlessly with the rest of your teeth and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a flawless finish.
CEREC crowns are composed completely of a dental ceramic material. In fact, we place a block of this porcelain into the milling machine, and it carves out the exact shape we design on our specialized software. The entire process happens right here in our office, which means that we have full control and can make tweaks right away if needed. If you require another material, such as a metal alloy, for your crown, we’ll need to use conventional crowns from a dental lab.
The lifespan on your CEREC crown will largely depend on diligently you maintain it. Like your natural teeth, it needs to be brushed and flossed on a daily basis. Regular visits to our office also allow us to keep a close eye on your crown. If we notice any signs of excessive wear, we can quickly replace the crown so you can continue using it without interrupting your daily life. Also, try to avoid or at least limit the sugary and sticky foods you consume to keep the crown in tip-top shape for up to 10 years.
To learn more about CEREC®, and how this amazing technology can work for you, contact our Fargo, ND dental office today and schedule your consultation.