New and improved is the name of the game in any industry these days. Just when you think things can't get better, they do over and over again. When it comes to tooth restoration, the latest thing carrying that "new and improved" label is something known as Cerec dentistry. If you haven't heard of this yet, you're not alone, but new is spreading and it is rapidly becoming more and more popular around the country.
What is Cerec dentistry? It is a new technology that allows the manufacturing of crowns and Onlays to be done right in the dentist's office.
It is done with a system called "Computer-assisted-design-Computer-assisted-manufactured" or "CAD-CAM." However, just like all brands of cotton swabs are referred to as Q-Tips, this system will carry the name of Cerec instead of CAD-CAM because it is the name of the leading company marketing this system.
So what makes this technology so popular? As stated, it is the ability to digitally measure a tooth for a precision-fit crown and then manufacture that crown in about 20 minutes while the patient is waiting. It saves the patient the expense and discomfort of wearing a temporary crown for two to three weeks and then the added cost and inconvenience of a second visit to fit the permanent crown when it arrives from an outside lab.
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The crown is made of a solid block of ceramic so it is very durable. One drawback though is the ceramic is a solid color and natural teeth are not, so if you have to crown a front tooth, it may not be the best solution – at least not yet.
The technology is also used to manufacture large fillings and do other types of restoration work. Many dentists are becoming skilled in its use for cosmetic purposes.