| 05/10/13

When getting a false tooth or teeth made, a patient used to be required to make several trips to the dentist. X-rays were taken and impressions were made prior to sending the project to the lab. Today, the process is a lot different. The rise of Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC) technology is changing the scene by allowing dentists to design and install veneers, crowns and inlays on the first visit itself. This saves a lot of time for both the dentist and the patient.

How CEREC Technology Works

The process of creating and bonding the tooth remains similar. The only difference is that the imaging is done using a special camera which produces images that are used for creating a 3D model of the patient’s tooth instantaneously. The model is then sent, along with other relevant data, to a milling machine present on location. The milling machine constructs the tooth from ceramic, and the whole process takes anywhere from 6 to 30 minutes to be carried out.

The ceramic used for creating the veneer or crown is chosen according to the state of the surrounding teeth. The dentist may have to polish or stain the veneer or crown to make it appear natural when inserted. The rest of the process is the same as with regular bonding; using special cement to put the false tooth in place. As this technology makes use of ceramic to construct the false tooth, CEREC is often considered an abbreviation for ‘CEramic REConstruction’.

How Much Does It Cost?

A common misconception regarding CEREC is that it dramatically increases the cost of care for the patient. This is actually not the case at all. While a larger fee appears for the visit, it’s comparable to what a patient would pay over the several return visits using the old methods for veneers and inlays. The machine used for the procedure plus the paraphernalia costs the dental practice around $100,000, making it a technology that is not available at every practice.

Benefits of Using CEREC Technology

There are several ways in which using CEREC technology is superior to conventional dental practices. Of course, there is the convenience of getting the work completed in a single visit which saves time and the hassle involved in commuting to and from the dentist. Here are the other benefits of using CEREC technology.

Minimum Sedation Required

The installation of the false tooth takes less than an hour, which means the patient does not have to receive high doses of sedatives. A single lot of anesthesia is sufficient.

Veneers and Crowns Appear More Natural

The dentist has much more control over the way crowns or veneers appear so appropriate changes can be made to make them look as natural as possible. In the conventional way, a dentist can only give instructions but someone else creates the false tooth.

Temporary Veneers Not Needed

Often, it takes two weeks for veneers to be created at the lab. During that time, the patient has to wear temporary veneers which can fall off and are not considered reliable enough. By using CEREC technology, dependence on temporary and unreliable veneers is made obsolete.

The bottom-line is that CEREC technology has the potential to revolutionize tooth replacement and restoration procedures, making the process simpler and more convenient.

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