One of the most exciting breakthroughs in modern dentistry is the use of computer-assisted technology to manufacture porcelain ceramic crowns. A CEREC crown can be completed in a single appointment, rather than the multiple appointments required with previous techniques. This also reduces the number of local anesthetic injections needed.
The first step in preparing a tooth for a CEREC crown is to file and shape the tooth. Next, an impression is taken digitally with a camera. The camera sends a 3-D optical image of the prepared tooth to the computer. The dentist then uses the computer’s CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design / Computer-Aided Manufacture) technology to design the crown and its specifications are sent to a milling machine. The milling machine—under computer control—carves the actual restoration out of an extremely hard ceramic block using diamond-coated instruments. The crown is then placed in your mouth and checked for fit, contacts, occlusion, and appearance. If everything is acceptable; the crown will be bonded to your tooth….all in one appointment!
The ceramic material has some properties that make it very suitable for use in dental restorations. It expands and contracts in response to temperature changes at a rate approximately that of enamel and dentin. It also wears at approximately the same rate as enamel. Once your new crown is in place, you may experience mild sensitivity to hot or cold on the tooth for several weeks. This is only temporary and should subside on its own.