A traditional crown is often placed on a damaged or troubled tooth throughout two dental visits, but a CEREC® crown can be placed in one day. The acronym CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic, and these restorations provide a protective cap over a tooth the same way traditional crowns do. However, the…
Is a CEREC Crown Restoration Less Invasive Than Traditional?
Many patients' teeth require restorative work to improve function or appearance at some point. CEREC®, which stands for "Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics," is a computer-aided design and manufacturing system that dentists can offer as an alternative to some types of traditional restorations. Patients may find these crown restorations to require a less invasive process than traditional crowns.
Why CEREC® crowns are less invasive
Traditional crowns require the dentist to make an impression of the patient's teeth by inserting a silicone tray filled with a putty-like material in the mouth. The patient then must hold the tray in the mouth until the impression is complete. This process can be messy and uncomfortable for some patients. Additionally, the process triggers the gag reflex in some people.
Dentists utilize an intraoral scanner to capture digital impressions of the teeth for CEREC® restorations. The 3D images captured by the scanner are more accurate than traditional impressions, which may result in less need for reworking the crowns. Many patients find this process more comfortable and less invasive than the traditional method.
Other benefits of CEREC® crowns
Patients often experience other advantages in addition to the process being less invasive.
With traditional crowns, the impressions taken by the dentist are sent to a lab where the crowns are fabricated. It often takes one to two weeks for the lab to manufacture and ship the crowns to the dentist. The patient must return for a second visit to have the crowns placed. With CEREC® crowns, everything is done on site and the entire process is usually completed in one to two hours. There is no need for patients to schedule multiple visits to complete the process.
No need for temporary crowns
Dentists sometimes fit patients with temporary crowns while the patient waits for the permanent crown to be manufactured. These temporary crowns may not fit well and can injure the gums. CEREC® crowns are placed the same day the patient comes in for the impressions, eliminating the need for temporary crowns.
Less need for re-work
The digital milling machines used for CEREC® crowns are more accurate than the process used to manufacture traditional crowns. While traditional crowns often require some adjustment to get the right fit, CEREC® crowns typically need little to no adjustment.
More aesthetically pleasing
Some patients prefer the look of CEREC® crowns to traditional crowns. Dentists help patients choose the nearest color match to the natural teeth from the available ceramic blocks. Dentists may also paint and polish the ceramic tooth to achieve a closer match to the appearance of the patient's other teeth.
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While not all patients have the same experience with the restoration process, many find that CEREC® crown restorations are less invasive and have multiple other benefits. A dental professional can walk patients through their options and help them choose the restoration process that is appropriate for their preferences and dental needs.
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