CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics and is a process by which dentists are able to create and insert ceramic restorations–including dental crowns–in a single appointment instead of the usual multiple appointments ususally necessary for installation of crowns. Dental crowns on the same day, what a wonder! CEREC was first used successfully in 1985, and since then, the use of CEREC has expanded.
CEREC technology uses ceramic materials rather than gold or amalgam since ceramics are more compatible with the body and because ceramics look and feel most like teeth. A benefit of CEREC is the reduction of follow-up work including the time-heavy requirements for adjustments that can follow traditional crown installation. An adidtional benefit is longevity of the crown. Studies have shown that the 10-year lifespan of ceramic crowns is longer than that afforded by gold inlays. In the same vein, CEREC’s mapping technology charts the patient’s mouth insides accurately, more so than traditional methods, and to greater levels of detail. The result is little to no instance of inaccurate impressions leading to incorrectly sized crowns leading to pain and discomfort for the patient. CEREC technology is hugely advantageous over traditional methods for crown-creation.
Dr. Levin and Dr. Derse of Levin Family Dental offers the service of same day crowns via CEREC. They first prepare the tooth as a dentist would if using the traditional crown method. They then obtain a digital image of the tooth. This is in lieu of the old method of taking an impression of the tooth. They then have the digital image available to them on a screen that sits right next to the dental chair, and this image aids them in accurately designing the crown. Once they have created the perfect crown for the patient’s mouth, Drs. Levin and Derse input the information into the CEREC system, and in minutes, the machine has produced a crown exactly to their specifications. In a final step, the dentists adhere the crown to the patient and make any necessary adjustments.
The benefits of the CEREC machine as previously stated, are many. I’ve recapped them below:
1. The most striking benefit is the time saved for both patient and dentist. The crown takes less time and the patient need not return for follow-up visits. This frees the patient up for other activities and the dentist up for other patients, potentially saving both money.
2. Another benefit is convenience. The CEREC machine makes the crown while the patient waits unlike the traditional which requires a third party to manufacture the crown by hand.
3. Crowns made by CEREC, being stronger, last longer. This means less frequent replacement (and thus savings) for the patient.
4. Ceramic crowns resist plaque buildup, thus keeping the tooth cavity-free.
5. CEREC technolgy allows accuracy of crown sizing and shaping to prevent the discomfort that can come with an imperfectly shaped and sized crown produced through the traditional method.
Levin Family Dental makes great use of CEREC technology in order to make the patient’s experience of getting a crown relatively hassle free.