CEREC One Visit Crowns, Inlays and Onlays
Dr. Garrett here! Today I would like to talk about one of my favorite procedures in the office: CEREC crowns, inlays and onlays. For over a decade now, CAD/CAM technology has been widely used in dentistry to create porcelain restorations. Within this time, the technology has grown and evolved into an extremely accurate, cosmetic and functional method for repairing teeth. CEREC crowns, inlays and onlays are all-porcelain restorations fabricated in the office in one visit. This eliminates the 2-3 week period of wearing a temporary restoration while an outside laboratory fabricates the permanent restoration. This not only eliminates a second visit for cementing your permanent restoration, but also eliminates the need for an often uncomfortable temporary that can sometimes cause excessive inflammation of your gum tissue.
The porcelain restoration is fabricated from a mono-block of high strength lithium-disilicate. This material is known for not only it’s very high strength, but also for it’s “tooth-like” appearance. A balance of strength and beauty can be achieved, which is ideal for teeth! It is a completely metal-free restoration that we expect to last for years and years in a healthy mouth.
The procedure is similar to a traditional crown appointment, with a few beneficial differences. Local anesthetic is typically applied to the tooth or teeth planned for restoration. A special white powder is applied to the teeth in the quadrant being operated on. A photo of the teeth is then taken with the CEREC camera. This gives us a “pre-operative image” that the computer uses as a baseline to help design the restoration. The affected or decayed area is removed and the tooth is shaped to make room for the porcelain restoration. This is in order to ensure the porcelain is thick enough to withstand daily use. We then apply the powder again and take another photo of the teeth. Then you get to relax for 20 or so minutes while the doctor designs your new restoration on the computer, and the milling machine fabricates your restoration. After the restoration is tried onto the tooth to verify its’ fit, it is cemented permanently onto your tooth. Voila! That’s it! You now have an extremely strong and highly cosmetic tooth! I love this procedure and I especially love the response I get from patients who have this done. They are always so amazed by the technology and love the look and feel of their new tooth!
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