Cracked or fractured teeth can be painful, but what’s worse is they’re also prone to infection. At our practice (Dores Dental in Longmeadow, MA), we do our best to save your natural teeth, because your natural teeth are the best tool for the job: no implant or other artificial tooth exists that can chew and grind food as well as the teeth you’re born with. That means we place a lot of crowns.
Crowns work well as a dental restoration: they hold the damaged tooth together and give it the strength it needs to do its job. Unfortunately, crowns can take a long time to design, make, and install. That doesn’t just inconvenience patients: it puts them at serious risk for developing an infection inside the tooth!
We want to give our patients the very best care possible, which is why we’ve invested in the most advanced crown technology available: CEREC Same-Day Crowns!
What’s the difference between CEREC crowns and conventional crowns?
Getting a crown used to require a lot of coordination between the patient and the dentist, as well as a lot of work and time to design and make (or “mill”) a crown.
Here’s what you could expect if you needed a crown placed before CEREC:
Two appointments (Scheduled WEEKS apart):
On your first appointment, the dentist will:
Examine your teeth to identify the exact location and nature of your problem.
Next, you’ll have a dental impression made of your teeth. A dental impression is a solid, three-dimensional model of your teeth which is made by placing a tray in your mouth that’s filled with a thick, slimy substance. You’ll sit for a long while as the impression (which is like a mold) sets. If you’re lucky, it will come out right the first time.
The dentist will place a temporary crown, and use the impression to design your crown so that it can be milled. That can take place in-office, but more often than not the dentist will have to order your crown from a specialized laboratory.
All of this can take weeks.
On the second appointment:
Your dentist will attempt to install your crown. We say “attempt” because it doesn’t always work the first time! If it doesn’t, do not pass GO as you start the process ALL OVER AGAIN.
It’s more than just an inconvenience though. Temporary crowns are fragile and tend to break fairly easily. When this happens, your tooth (which was already in trouble) stands a very good chance of developing an infection.
If that happens:
Congratulations! You can add at least one more appointment to your to-do list because you’ll need a root canal to address the infection, ON TOP of your crown!
CEREC Same-Day Crowns remove all that risk of infection and lost time in one fell-swoop. Just as the name says, CEREC allows you to get your crowns in a single appointment!
How does CEREC work?
CEREC is an acronym (like “SCUBA” or “NASA”) and it stands for:
Chairside: Chairside is dentist-speak for “on-site”: the whole process takes place in the same dentist’s office.
Economic Restoration: This is the heart of CEREC’s innovation. As we’ve discussed, time is the reason why getting a crown is so inconvenient (not to mention dangerous). CEREC uses advanced technology to eliminate time from the equation.
Here’s how it does it:
Physical dental impressions are unreliable, uncomfortable for the patient, and nearly impossible to store in case a replacement crown is needed (we’d need a lot more closet space).
To make a CEREC Same-Day Crown, your dentist will take a digital impression of your teeth using advanced imaging technology.
Digital impressions are just better than physical ones:
They’re many times more accurate than physical impressions (in fact, CEREC allows us to save teeth that once would have been considered unsalvageable).
They’re much easier on you, the patient, and
If you ever break your CEREC crown, we can whip one up easily because the digital impression is a computer file and easily stored.
Once the digital impression is completed, it goes directly into a computer, where special software (called “CAD” or Computer-Aided Design) creates an incredibly accurate design for your crown. These designs are so accurate, that even teeth that are broken very near the gum line can be repaired (this was impossible before CEREC). This design is passed to a machine that automatically mills the crown from a single block of porcelain; it does this so quickly that the job is done in a single appointment, on-site.
Esthetic Ceramics: In conventional crowns, everything is held together by metal. Metal is okay, except for when it either:
Causes an allergic reaction in the patient, or
Snaps off as the result of some kind of impact (which can include biting too hard!).
CEREC Crowns are made entirely from porcelain. A single block of porcelain is placed in an automatic milling machine and it goes to work, carving your crown from the porcelain block, following the design the software generates. It’s basically a robot that can rapidly carve the crown out of the block.
Don’t Waste Your Time or Risk Infection!
If your teeth are damaged and need a crown, you don’t need the added trouble of lost hours and potential infections that require a root canal to address. Choose CEREC Same-Day Crowns at Dores Dental!
Call us at 413-241-3995, or click here to reach our online appointment form.
We look forward to seeing you!