Technology is affecting our daily lives in ways most of us will never recognize, like dentistry. While cracked or chipped teeth occur for a variety of reasons, poor oral health and a build-up of plaque can contribute to tooth decay, and a dental accident or emergency can occur at any moment – in the ‘traditional’ manner, computer aided dental restoration technology is changing the way dentists and patients interact when these problems arise.
At Alpen Dental, our family dentists in Red Deer are there for all your oral health needs from routine check-ups to comprehensive dental procedures like TMJ/TMD treatments, orthodontics, and whitening techniques, including CEREC technology restorations.
What are CEREC restorations? According to Wikipedia, “CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction) is a method of CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) dentistry developed by W. Mörmann and M. Brandestini at the University of Zurich in 1980 for creating dental restorations.” Today it is a replacement treatment for a traditional crown or dental bridge.
A CEREC System consists of three components: an acquisition unit or camera for digital impressions; the CEREC software, which creates a virtual 3D model of the patient’s tooth situation for restoration; and a milling machine, which carves the completed design out of the chosen ceramic block – ready for installation in office in a single appointment, rather than over multiple appointments.
Your Alpen Dental uses an intraoral camera to take a photo of the preparation, the antagonist teeth, and the bite situation. The dentist uses then this model to construct the tooth restoration on the screen using the CEREC software and then electronically sends it wirelessly to a milling machine. Depending on the type of restoration, it is then milled out of a color-matched ceramic block in just 6 to 15 minutes using diamond-coated milling units. Your dentist then adds the finishing touches to the restoration by painting, polishing, and glazing the new tooth, before cementing it (the more traditional option) or adhesively integrating it, depending on the type of ceramic used.
CEREC restorations have a number of advantages:
- A routine CEREC treatment can be completed in less than an hour, of major significance to both patients and dentists;
- Reducing the number of gum numbing injections needed, which can be traumatic to some patients; with
- Composition of the ceramic closely matching the composition of your healthy teeth as well as their natural colour; and
- State-of-the-art software allows for customized restoration to your exact dental needs.
As with all dental procedures, the cost involved will vary on a number of factors: the severity of the problem; the number of restorations you need; and your health insurance coverage. CEREC restorations are often more expensive, however, they last longer – according to a study published in the International Journal of Prosthodontics, the treatment has an 88.7 percent success rate after 17 years. For many patients, this long-term success outweighs the higher initial costs.
Alpen Dental dentists in Red Deer undergo specific training to use and operate our CEREC system, so you can rest assured that you’re receiving an excellent standard of care. At Alpen Dental, caring for you and your entire family is our top priority. Contact Alpen Dental to see if CEREC restorations are right for you at 403-885-8422 today and schedule an appointment.