Most restorative and cosmetic dental procedures require a patient to make two trips to the dentist’s office. The first visit usually prepares the teeth and involves the making of a mold from which crowns, dentures, plates or other items will be manufactured. During this preliminary period the patient is usually forced to wear a temporary device or fitting while waiting for a distant laboratory to complete the manufacturing. The second visit involves the fitting and application of the device, after which the patient has completed their procedure.
While this does not sound problematic it can often require a patient to live for weeks with an ill-fitting “standard” insert which affects everything from eating to speaking. It also involves traveling back and forth to the dentist’s office which can easily translate to a great deal of time in travel and even missed work. Additionally, the skill of the laboratory technician can have an effect upon the final results, which might include poorly fitting items that allow for debris to enter between teeth or between the crown and the gum.
Luckily there are now technologies that make the manufacturing of all-ceramic dental devices possible in a single visit. The most frequently employed equipment for such a process is the CEREC, a computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing machine that creates custom dental inserts easily.
In the past, dentists have had a limited number of materials from which they could craft restorative items. Usually they were made from gold, amalgam and composite materials that could withstand the wear and tear of daily use. The CEREC relies strictly on highly durable ceramic materials that deliver the look of all natural teeth to craft inlays and onlays, crowns and fillings and veneers. This means a patient can come in for treatment and have no need to return in order to complete their single tooth restoration.
The CEREC technology is used to record the anatomical features of the tooth and surrounding areas, and the dentist completes the custom design by using images of their patient’s teeth and gums in conjunction with the software. The machinery then makes the custom item which is an exact replica of that designed in the software by the dentist. This means that a patient getting a crown will not have to wear the temporary fitting for a week or more before returning for their permanent crown. They will not suffer the discomfort and possible bacterial buildup, but instead they will wait comfortably in their dentist’s office as their crown is made.
CEREC technology is not available at every dental practice, and it may require visiting a new dentist or oral surgeon in order to enjoy the benefits of such immediate processes. Many people believe that the cost of a crown or other restorative item will be significantly higher because of the convenience, and while many patients do pay a bit more for their CEREC manufactured dental devices, they are also getting the great benefits of immediate application and superior materials. The all ceramic restorations are the most natural in appearance, and are as strong as any other material available, which means they are well worth any additional expense. Find a Provo CEREC dentist right here.