CEREC TECHNOLOGY FAQ – The future of dentistry

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CEREC TECHNOLOGY FAQ – The future of dentistry

Thanks to modern technology paired with incredible advancements in cosmetic dentistry, it is now possible for same-day crowns through CEREC technology. CEREC is the short term for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction. CEREC uses CAD/CAM (computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing) technology to take virtual impressions quickly and then generate a precisely fitted restoration so you can leave our offices sooner.

We’ve created this FAQ to help you understand the basics of CEREC same day dentistry, and find out if CEREC same-day crowns are right for you. So, without further ado, here are the answers to the most common questions about crowns and CEREC dentistry.

Q: What is CEREC dentistry?

A: CEREC dentistry is a system that allows you to have your tooth prepared, impressions taken and the new ceramic restoration fitted during one single visit to our dental office in Marbella. The whole procedure can take just a couple of hours. Thus, CEREC technology allows us to make a crown, veneer or inlay in just one visit. Normally these procedures can take up to two weeks’ time with multiple sessions when customised in a lab offsite.

Q: What is a CEREC machine?

The CEREC system comprises of a dental scanner which captures precise 3D scans of your teeth. It then transfers this information to an in-house machine which produce ceramic inlays, onlays, and crowns ( even crowns over implants) that match the exact shape and size of your teeth. Best of all, the CEREC system allows dentists to perform all these restorations in a single visit.

Q: How does the CEREC system work?

The CEREC machine relies on 3D imaging software to create a detailed representation of your teeth. To get this information, your teeth are photographed and captured by the machine, which processes the information to display a full 3D model of your mouth. The software used then refines that model to highlight the areas that need dental restoration. There is no radiation used making these images completely risk free.

Here’s a quick summary of how it all works:

  • Your cosmetic dentist will prepare your tooth for the restoration
  • The CEREC software takes a series of concurrent digital photos of the treatment area
  • The CEREC technology converts the image into a 3D virtual model
  • With input from the dentist, the software creates the final restoration
  • The CEREC milling machine precisely carves a ceramic block into the exact shape and specifications of your restoration.

What’s incredibly unique is the ceramic is chosen to match the natural colour of your teeth almost exactly as they are. Depending on the material used this restoration is then glazed, and further staining and characterization can be added before the restoration is fired in a conventional ceramic oven to reach optimal mechanical harness and strength.

Finally, the restoration is polished and bonded to your tooth

This can all done within a single visit to our Marbella Dental Clinic.

Read more about Cosmetic Dentistry 

Q: What are the main differences between CEREC and traditional dentistry?

A: Let’s take a look at the traditional process of dental restoration first to truly get a better understanding of CEREC technology.

Without a doubt, the traditional methods for preparing a tooth for a lab made dental restoration is more time consuming and uncomfortable for the patient. It´s worth noting that traditional lab-made restorations can take up to several weeks and even months.

With traditional methods, after tooth preparation, we must first take a physical mould of your teeth, this can be a bit uncomfortable for our patients, not to mention a bit gut wrenching considering the mould is messy and gooey and can take up to a minute to set. Once that is done, the prepared tooth must be covered with temporary restoration which needs to last until the next visit. Not only can this be rather weak, other problems can develop such a tooth sensitivity, staining of the temporary and on occasion it may even fall off before the next visits if patients are not careful to modify their diet.

It typically can take days or weeks for the final tooth restoration to comes back from the lab. On this second visit you may need to be numbed again before finally getting the restoration fitted.

Now let’s compare with CEREC technology:

  • When taking impressions, a digital camera is used to take multiple images of your tooth, which is then uploaded to the CEREC system, therefore no gooey or uncomfortable mould is needed.
  • Applying a temporary is usually not needed as we are finishing the treatment in the same visit.
  • CEREC software is used to design the restoration guaranteeing accuracy and a precise digital fit. We can then mill a permanent restoration in minutes.
  • Finally, when placing the finished restoration, no return visit is needed. This is all done in one visit.

Q: How Long Can a CEREC Same Day Crown Last?

A: By following your dentists’ advice, and proper care, restorations will have the same longevity whether made traditionally in the lab or milled in house. It’s normal for a CEREC crown to last well over ten years or more.

Q: Are there any other benefits to CEREC technology?

A: Besides saving time with no discomfort for our patients whatsoever, this amazing technology is a much better option for you and your overall dental health.

Because CEREC uses advanced digital technology, the restoration will have a much better fit. This superior fit reduces small gaps between your teeth, making it difficult for bacteria to hide and gum disease and tooth decay to grow.

When preparing teeth for larger, more extensive restorations like a crown the tooth may subsequently develop sensitivity (which your dentist will discuss with you beforehand). However, by doing all the treatment in one session rather than leaving the tooth for days or weeks with a temporary restoration, the tooth tends to “recover” more quickly from the procedure and post op clinical issues are much less common.

Another health benefit is that CEREC restorations are completely metal-free. This is a huge benefit for patients who may be allergic to the potential toxicity of certain metal alloys used in traditional crowns. In addition, metal-free restorations will have a more natural appearance and do not produce a dark border or “shine -through” should the gum receede slightly over time.

Finally, not only will your CEREC restoration promote a healthy tooth structure and gumline, these restorations are durable, long-lasting, and look and feel like your real teeth.