The CEREC® Advantage
Everyone wants to maintain a healthy mouth. We brush and floss our teeth, schedule checkups and professional cleanings, and do just about anything to keep a beautiful smile. However, sometimes, preventative dental care is not enough to stop tooth decay. That is why we offer dental restorations to repair damaged teeth. If the decay is minor enough, a dental filling may do the trick. When the decay is significant, we need to implement other forms of restorative treatment. Most traditional restorations involve a long and tedious process. At Tuttle Crossing Dental Group, we utilize the CEREC system to create long-lasting restorations in just one appointment!
Reasons You May Need a Dental Restoration
You may need to undergo restorative treatment if you have chipped, cracked, discolored, or missing teeth. Dr. Phillip Elmo will diagnose the condition of your teeth and determine if treatment is necessary. The most common reasons for restorative treatment are tooth decay and gum disease.
Decay is caused by bacteria found in plaque and tartar. Plaque is a sticky substance, which constantly forms around your teeth and gums. The bacteria found in plaque feed on the sugars that you eat. As the bacteria feed, they produce acids that eat away at your tooth enamel and create cavities. If left untreated, cavities can lead to pain, infection, and eventually tooth loss. Tooth decay is more likely if you neglect to brush and floss your teeth. Eating foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates can also lead to decay.
The growth of bacteria can also cause gingivitis and periodontitis (the two forms of gum disease). As the infection spreads, it damages the tissue and bone that support the teeth. If gum disease is left untreated, deep periodontal pockets will form, allowing even more plaque and bacteria to collect. The healthy relationship between your teeth and gums will deteriorate, and a restoration may be necessary.
What is the CEREC System?
The CEREC system is part a major part of CAD/CAM dentistry. This is a field of dentistry that uses computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing to improve restorations. CEREC is an acronym that stands for Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramics. The CEREC system is a breakthrough innovation that allows us to construct, produce, and install dental restorations at the point of treatment, and without the need of a dental laboratory. As a patient, you no longer need to schedule multiple appointments to receive a restoration. All the work is done the same day, in office, and without inconvenience.
Components of CEREC System
The CEREC Acquisition UnitThe CEREC acquisition unit is a mobile device that houses a medical grade computer and a camera attachment. We use the camera to take pictures of the tooth that needs restorative treatment. The CEREC software converts this picture into a 3D model, eliminating the need for a physical mold or impression. The software also allows us to examine the tooth from all angles. Dr. Phillip Elmo is then able to design the restoration right on the screen while you wait and watch. Once the restoration design is complete, the data is wirelessly communicated to the CEREC milling unit.
The CEREC Milling UnitThe CEREC milling unit is used to create the physical restoration. It’s like having a dental laboratory right there in the office. First, we select a ceramic block that matches the shade of your existing tooth. The block is then inserted into the milling unit and carved into the indicated shape of the restoration. This can take anywhere from 8 to 20 minutes. Once the milling is complete, we will polish the restoration, and bond it to the tooth.
History of the CEREC System
The CEREC method was first developed in 1980, by Professor Werner H. Mörmann and Dr. Marco Brandestini. The first patient was treated in 1985. Over the next thirty years, technological advancements led to 3D software, increased precision, and better intraoral cameras.
3D software was introduced in 2003, giving dentists the ability to create three-dimensional images and move away from 2D technology. Since 2009, new imaging technology, which utilizes short-way blue light, has significantly increased the level of precision. In 2012, Sirona launched the CEREC Omnicam intraoral camera. This camera allows for powder-free impressions that produce images with natural colors. Previous cameras required the use of a tasteless powder to help the camera pick up on the minute details of your tooth. The CEREC Omnicam is designed for access. The rounded tube allows us to easily rotate the camera in your intraoral space. The tiny camera tip also helps us position the lens anywhere in the mouth.
Uses for the CEREC System
The CEREC system can be used to produce dental crowns, dental bonding, onlays, inlays, and porcelain veneers.
In general, we use the CEREC system to create same day dental crowns.
For the past several years, the CEREC system has also been used to create more advanced restorations. We now can design an implant-supported restoration using CEREC and 3D x-ray data. Together, these tools can be used to create a surgical guide and drilling template that allows for a completely integrated workflow. In some cases, you can receive an implant-supported crown in a single treatment session. A CEREC milling unit can also be used to fabricate an implant abutment (underlying support structure). A ceramic abutment can significantly increase the aesthetics of an implant.
Dr. Phillip Elmo specializes in prosthodontics, a field of dentistry that pertains to the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients who have missing or deficient teeth. Dr. Phillip Elmo works closely with oral surgeons and periodontists to help plan implant restorations, and provide the best possible treatment.
Exam and Preparation
Dr. Phillip Elmo will perform a comprehensive dental exam to determine the right course of action. The type of restoration you receive depends on the location and size of the damaged tooth structure. In cases of tooth decay, we will numb the area using a local anesthetic, and remove the decayed tooth material. This is the same preparation you would undergo with most restorative techniques. After the tooth has been prepared, Dr. Phillip Elmo will take the digital impression.
Advantages of Digital Impressions
Traditional impressions, require the use of goopy impression material that you must bite into until it hardens. A digital impression is less invasive and only requires the use of a camera, and 3D imaging software. Digital impressions only take a minute or two. Patients no longer have to wait five minutes or longer with impression material that can cause gagging or discomfort. If you wish to have your restoration made by a dental laboratory, we may still be able to use a digital impression.
No More Temporaries
Restorations that are made in a dental laboratory take several weeks to complete. While you wait, you may be given a temporary restoration for protective reasons. Temporaries are not as secure or strong as final restorations. You will have to avoid certain foods and watch the way you brush. If the temporary pops off, it could leave your tooth unprotected, and compromise the integrity of the repair. Temporaries do not contribute much in the way of cosmetics because they are usually just a hard plastic or aluminum cap. If you choose to have the restoration made in-office using CEREC, you will not need to receive a temporary, because there is no second appointment. You can walk out of the office with a durable and aesthetically pleasing restoration, the same day as a repair.
CEREC Restoration Materials
A CEREC restoration is not just convenient; it also promotes better oral health. For many years, dentists were limited to materials such as gold, silver amalgams, and other metal alloys. These materials can be conspicuous, uncomfortable, and cause future health complications. The CEREC milling unit can accommodate an array of materials that restore your teeth to their natural beauty and function. In fact, CEREC is compatible with over 11 different kinds of materials, giving us the freedom to customize the procedure to fit your needs.
As previously mentioned, the milling unit turns blocks of ceramic material into beautiful and aesthetically pleasing restorations. There are a few options when it comes to ceramics. Silicate ceramics are ideal for single tooth restorations. This includes crowns, inlays, onlays, and veneers. Another form of glass ceramic, lithium disilicate, is exceptionally strong while maintaining a non-brittle and translucent appearance. Finally, oxide ceramics can be used to manufacture high-strength bridge frameworks. Oxide ceramic is also ideal for crown copings in the front and sides of your mouth.
Comfortable, Durable, and Precise Restorations
CEREC restorations are so precise that they function like your natural teeth. Because they are made from biocompatible materials, your gums and surrounding teeth will adjust nicely to your new restoration. The digital mapping technology ensures that you will have no issues with bulky dental impressions, which can cause discomfort and unnecessary debris.
Because each CEREC restoration is milled from a single block of porcelain, they are resistant to cracking and splintering. Other methods of creating crowns require a layering of porcelain that can lack the same strength and durability. In fact, studies have shown that CEREC restorations can last longer than other methods. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), one study has shown a success rate of 88.7% after 17 years. Most dental restorations need to be repaired or replaced after a certain amount of time. You can rest assured, knowing your CEREC restoration will last for decades or even longer.
Fewer Appointments and Faster Recovery
At Tuttle Crossing Dental Group, we understand that many of our patients are busy with their daily lives. However, very few of them have perfect teeth that are free of fillings and decay. Over time, these fillings need to be replaced for several reasons. The filling material could weaken, additional decay could damage the tooth structure, and unwanted pain could make it uncomfortable to chew or eat. In fact, most fillings need to be replaced within ten years. These appointments can take up a big chunk of your time. That is why we offer CEREC restorations. We value your time and want to provide a long-lasting solution in just one appointment. Thus we help you avoid unnecessary procedures, multiple injections of anesthesia, and countless hours in the dental chair.
You may also experience a faster recovery time for certain procedures. For example, the CEREC system can be used to restore a tooth immediately after root canal therapy. This means we can provide immediate protection, and reduce the chances of irritation or infection.
Caring for Your CEREC Restoration
After your CEREC restoration has been placed, Dr. Phillip Elmo will provide a set of care instructions. In general, you should maintain proper oral hygiene habits. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth twice daily. If your restoration requires special maintenance, Dr. Phillip Elmo may provide you with a specific cleaning appliance.
While CEREC restorations are extremely durable, we still suggest avoiding certain foods and habits. Biting your fingernails and grinding your teeth, can significantly shorten the life-span of your CEREC restoration. If you suffer from nocturnal teeth grinding, we may recommend a night guard to cushion your teeth.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you are experiencing pain associated with your teeth and gums, you may need to receive a dental restoration. Call (614) 798-0083, and schedule an appointment today!