If one or more of your teeth are weak, broken, or discolored, you may be considering a dental crown. When you think of traditional crowns, you may also think of the lengthy process- it can take up to three appointments to finally get the finished product, and even that may not be perfect. The impression of the tooth that needs the crown and the teeth around it are cast using impression material in an impression tray, which can be uncomfortable and also may not produce an accurate measurement. Worse still, you often have to wear an uncomfortable temporary crown while the permanent crown is being made in the lab, making it difficult and uncomfortable to chew and care for your teeth. Once the permanent crown is made, it may not match your natural tooth color, and it may not even fit exactly. At Southtowns Dental, we only want our patients to have the best results, which is why we use CEREC to fit and produce crowns.

CEREC, or Ceramic Reconstruction, is the latest technology in crown fitting. In our office, we use the Sirona Omnicam to capture a 3D image of the patient’s teeth in full color and crisp detail. The Omnicam is small, comfortable, and non-invasive, and it produces a precise and clear image. Then, using 3D computerized technology, the dental prosthesis is created in office in just a few minutes. It matches the patient’s bite perfectly and can be polished to fit the natural tooth color, producing the most natural looking crown available.

CEREC Omnicam

Because it is created out of a solid block of ceramic or resin material rather than a composite, the crown is stronger than traditional crowns and can even be used on back biting teeth. The best part is that from start to finish, the CEREC process takes just 90 minutes- there is no need for multiple appointments, follow ups, allergic reactions, and the other problems that often accompany traditional crowns. Getting the crown right away also means that the patient doesn’t have to deal with a painful broken or cracked tooth for one day longer. The result is a crown that fits perfectly, lasts for years and years, and doesn’t damage the natural tooth surface. Because every step of the process is carried out in our office in a single visit, there is no need to worry about scheduling your busy life around multiple dentist appointments.

Besides being efficient and accurate, the best aspect of CEREC is that it is patient-focused. We want to give the best results to our patients, but we also strive to make them comfortable about the procedure. CEREC is an almost entirely transparent process, allowing complete visibility as to why, where, and how we are going to place the crown. The Omnicam allows the patient to view scans and videos of his or her own teeth, which can help make it easier to understand the need for treatment. When the scan is done, the accurately fitted crown can be made in-office while the patient watches. Besides being comfortable with treatment, CEREC allows the patient to also be physically comfortable. Traditional impression trays and impression material can be messy and uncomfortable to wear, not to mention the multiple anesthetic injections. There is no need to wear an ill-fitting temporary crown while the permanent crown is made. CEREC will provide a quick, stress-free permanent dental solution.

Patient with Omnicam

On the user end, CEREC systems are intuitive and consistent, making it easy to learn how to operate it. Because the workflow is the same with each procedure and the machine is highly automated, there are never any surprises, and it doesn’t take long to become familiar with how it works. Some of the steps can even be delegated to other trained staff. Because the measurements generated by the CEREC software are extraordinarily accurate a majority of the time, the dentist operating the machine can often move straight from the restoration proposal (what the machine is recommending for fit) to the production of the crown itself without adjustment. The Omnicam used to take the scan is also extremely user friendly. It can be rotated to scan both the upper and lower jaw without having to adjust the patient or dentist’s natural working position. Scanning can be stopped at any time and started again immediately in the place where the Omnicam left off. While the efficiency and accuracy of CEREC is beneficial for the patient, it is almost more so for dentists and dental staff who can now finish an entire procedure in just one appointment.

280 studies and 38,000 system installations all over the world prove how CEREC has revolutionized dentistry. Rather than having to schedule a patient for up to three appointments to fit a crown, the procedure can be done in just one 90 minute session- no impression trays or material, no multiple injections, and no discomfort. CEREC provides a system that is simple and intuitive to use for dentists and transparent and comfortable for patients. The result is a permanent, well-fitting crown that can provide both a natural appearance and incredible functionality. Call our office for a free consultation to see if you are a candidate for CEREC crowns.