CEREC: The Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Questions

Ceramic Reconstruction, or CEREC, provides an alternative to the traditional process for restoring a tooth. Instead of making a physical impression of the tooth, it uses a 3D camera and special computer software to develop a sophisticated image of the tooth. Then a milling machine in the dentist’s office is used to create the restoration. Since CEREC is new to many patients, you may benefit from these answers to frequently asked questions.

Is CEREC better for my oral health?

CEREC restorations allow you to keep more of your real tooth, because usually only the damaged areas of your tooth must be altered. The material is similar to tooth enamel, making it hard and abrasive like a natural tooth. CEREC material is less stressful on your teeth when you consume hot or cold items, because it expands and contracts like a real tooth. It also looks real because it comes in colors you can choose that match your other teeth. With traditional restorations, temporary placements are often required. These are not ideal for your natural tooth because temporary restorations do not support the tooth as well, increasing the risk for your tooth to break. Finally, CEREC restorations have shown to last a long time with proper care.

Is it simpler for me?

CEREC restorations are completed in just one dental visit. There are no temporary restorations, no uncomfortable material in your mouth to create impressions, only one injection, and a single appointment.

What does the restoration look like?

CEREC restorations look like a natural tooth. The tooth-colored ceramic blends right in with your other teeth.

Is CEREC safe?

CEREC has a record of safety and reliability, and the restorations are accepted by dental experts as high quality solutions to dental problems.

How do I know if CEREC is right for me?

CEREC is often a good choice for patients who want to keep as much of their natural tooth as possible, want only one trip to the dentist, want a realistic looking tooth, and want a long-lasting restoration. Your dentist can help you decide if CEREC meets your specific dental needs.

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Can You Benefit from CEREC?

CEREC crowns are named for CEremic REConstruction. CEREC is a restorative dental treatment resulting from computer assisted design (CAD) and computer assisted manufacturing (CAM). This process was developed in the early 1980s at the University of Zurich by Dr. W.H. Mormann and Dr. M. Brandestini.

The process allows a cosmetic dentist to design, create and place computer-developed tooth restorations in one single dental appointment. With CEREC, there’s no need for a dental lab or multiple visits to the dentist. In use since the mid 1980s, CEREC is rapidly becoming the top-of-the-line choice for tooth restoration.

Because CEREC begins with a digital scan of the mouth, traditional goop-filled molds are not required. These trays are problematic for many patients, especially those with a delicate gag reflex, eliminating the possibility of retching and vomiting during the molding process.

CEREC crowns can help anyone who necessitates a dental crown to complete a root canal treatment or a dental bridge. CEREC allows a crown to be placed the same day as a root canal procedure, alleviating the need for a temporary crown. This can save a great deal of time for a busy patient, and a lot of anxiety for a fearful one.

CEREC teeth are extremely accurate. Because they were created with the help of an optical scan, they are more accurate than most teeth created by hand in a lab. This ensures proper fit and a long life for your crown.

If you have questions about whether or not you can benefit from CEREC technology, talk to your cosmetic dentist about this exciting advancement in dentistry. Find out how CEREC can improve your experience in the dental chair and in the future of your smile.

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CAD/CAM Technology to the Rescue

Certain types of dental restorations have a history of taking multiple steps over a period of time to complete. This has commonly been the case for crowns, inlays, onlays, some veneers and more. Advancements in dentistry have achieved the ability of providing these in a single office visit using CAD/CAM technology.

CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) are used in many fields, but were introduced into dentistry in the 1980s. However, experts needed time to improve the technology so that it could be used in actual dental practices. It has now become a reality in helping to create durable, perfectly fitting, and aesthetically pleasing restorations in just a few hours.

This technology begins by taking an image of the tooth and affected area within the mouth. The image is used by the software to develop a virtual restoration, and the data is sent to a milling machine. The milling process allows the CAD/CAM technology to fabricate dental restorations from blocks of porcelain or composite resin. Dentists can even select the exact shade for the restoration so that it looks ideal in the patient’s smile. Once the restoration has been created, the dentist places it in the patient’s mouth and bonds it as necessary to complete the process.

One of the greatest benefits of CAD/CAM technology is that it eliminates the need for a temporary restoration. For example, in past procedures for getting a crown, a temporary crown had to be placed while the final one was fabricated in a dental lab, shipped, and finally placed. Receiving the final restoration in one office visit skips that waiting time. Also, patients don’t have to deal with the hassles of multiple appointments. Another advantage is that CAD/CAM technology provides an exact fit that blends well with the real tooth structure. Patients come away with a comfortable, secure, and attractive smile in one day.

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Options for Complete Dentures

Denture technology has come a long way since the days of George Washington and his wooden teeth. Unfortunately, people still lose teeth for a variety of reasons including periodontal disease, trauma, and decay. Missing teeth make talking and eating difficult, and can ultimately cause sagging facial muscles. However, with today’s advances in technology it is more possible than ever to replace those lost teeth with natural and comfortable dentures.

Complete dentures cover both upper and lower jaws. The options for complete dentures range from immediate dentures to highly customized implant dentures. Immediate dentures are pre-made and available at your dentist’s office. They are not custom fitted and are set into gum sockets immediately upon removal of your teeth. While these offer the convenience of walking immediately out of the dental office with your new teeth in place, once gum tissue heals and swelling reduces they may shift and become loose. This issue requires follow-up visits for your dentist to make adjustments. People with immediate dentures may also have difficulty speaking, or experience a “clicking sound” when talking.

Conventional full dentures can be made 8 to 12 weeks after tooth loss or removal. Once the gums have healed, your dentist takes a series of impressions of your mouth to be sent away to a dental lab to create your dentures. This process may require multiple visits to your dentist to ensure a proper fit and correct bite. While this process takes longer and is more involved than immediate dentures, you will achieve a more secure and personalized fit. Both conventional and immediate dentures require the use of denture adhesives to keep them securely in place.

For an even more custom, natural looking and secure denture option, implant dentures are an excellent alternative. With implant dentures, small implants are placed in the jaw where they heal in place surrounded by the bone. The denture then snaps into the implant with attachments under the denture. These attachments keep the denture stable, providing more comfort and confidence. You do not have to worry your dentures will slip or fall out while you are eating, talking, or laughing. Implant dentures do not require the use of any denture adhesives.

Talk to your dental professional to determine the best use of denture technology to ensure many years of a confident and comfortable smile.

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Facial Injuries and Oral Surgery

There are a number of reasons that dentists or oral surgeons recommend surgery, but facial injuries are probably the most unexpected and alarming cause. Maxillofacial injury, or facial trauma, refers to any injury to the mouth, jaw, and face. Most of these injuries result from sports, car accidents, job accidents, violence, or an accident at home. Let’s learn about oral surgery resulting from facial trauma.

Broken bones are a common type of serious facial injury. Fractures can occur in the upper or lower jaw, cheekbones, palate, and eye sockets. Injuries in these locations may affect vision and the ability to eat, talk, and breathe. Hospitalization is often required for treatment, which is similar to that for fractures in other parts of the body. The bones must be lined up and held in place to allow time to heal them in the correct position. Because casts are not possible in facial injuries, the surgeon may use wires, screws, or plates to treat fractures. Sometimes healing takes as long as six weeks or more.

Even though some facial injuries are worse than others, all of them should be taken seriously. They affect an important area of the body, so it is recommended to seek treatment from an oral surgeon to make sure you receive optimum care. Even if stitches are all that’s required, it’s best to have them performed by an oral surgeon who can place them exactly as needed to produce the best results.

It’s no surprise that the best solution for facial injuries is to prevent them in the first place. Oral surgeons suggest consistent use of mouth guards, seat belts, and masks and helmets as required. Improvements have been made to safety gear to make these items more comfortable and efficient, so there should be no excuses for not using them to protect yourself and avoid injuries that can lead to oral surgery.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Denture Care

Thanks to advances in dental technology, dentures are more natural looking and comfortable than ever before. If you are one of the many adults wearing dentures to replace missing teeth, there are several do’s and don’ts you will want to follow to ensure they maintain their fit and your oral health:

  • Do take your dentures out before going to bed, allowing your mouth tissues to rest from wearing them all day.
  • Don’t let your dentures dry out. Soak them in mild denture solution or water while you sleep.
  • Do clean them daily with either a mild detergent or special denture cleaning solution and a soft-bristled brush.
  • Don’t soak them in very hot water, as this could cause them to warp, and they will no longer fit properly.
  • Do handle them with care. Dropping your dentures or treating them with strong cleansers or harsh brushes can do permanent damage.
  • Don’t neglect your oral care for the rest of your mouth. Even patients with a full set of dentures need to take care of their gums, and if you have partial dentures you should continue to brush and floss your remaining teeth regularly.
  • Do pay attention to changes in the fit or feel of your dentures. Problems with fit can lead to irritation and discomfort, and could also be an indication of gum disease.
  • Don’t try to adjust or repair your dentures on your own. If your dentures are ill-fitting or damaged in any way, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have them evaluated.
  • Do continue to see your dentist for regular checkups to help maintain your best oral health and check your dentures for fit and function.

If you are missing all or some of your teeth, dentures can greatly improve both your appearance and the quality of your life. By following these simple guidelines, you can maintain the beauty and functionality of your dentures for many years.

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