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A CEREC tooth restoration isn't just convenient, it is also healthy. Many years ago, dentists had few options to repair decayed and damaged teeth other than amalgam, gold, and other metals. With CEREC, we use strong, tooth colored ceramic materials to restore your teeth to their natural strength, beauty, and function. These materials closely match the composition of natural tooth structure. This means when you eat hot food and then drink something cold, the restoration and tooth expand and contract at almost equal rates. So, your tooth does not crack, and you can go on enjoying your evening. Also, the materials are chemically bonded to your tooth, so we can save as much healthy tooth tissue as possible while providing you with a dental restoration that strengthens your tooth. Approximate time: 2 Hours from start to finish.
Exam and Preparation
First, the dentist examines the tooth and determines the appropriate treatment. It could be a simple filling, or a full crown, depending on how much healthy tooth structure is remaining. Next, they administer an anesthetic and prepares your tooth for the restoration, removing decayed and weakened tooth tissue. This preparation is just like he would do for many other restorative techniques.
Then, the dentist takes an Optical Impression of the prepared tooth. Instead of filling a tray with impression "goop" that you must bite into and hold in your mouth until it hardens, they the tooth with a non-toxic, tasteless powder. A camera is then used to take a digital picture of your tooth. This whole Optical Impression process only takes a minute or two.
Next, the CEREC machine helps him create the restoration for your tooth. The CEREC 3D software takes the digital picture and converts it into a 3-dimensional virtual model on the computer screen. The dentist then uses their dental expertise to design the restoration using the CEREC 3D computer program. Within a few minutes, they click a button, and the restoration design data is sent to a separate milling machine in the office. A ceramic block that matches your tooth shade is placed in the milling machine. About 10 - 20 minutes later, your all-ceramic, tooth-colored restoration is finished and ready to bond in place. Finally, they place the restoration in your mouth to ensure proper fit and bite. The restoration is then polished and bonded to the prepared tooth. Your tooth is restored with no "temporary" or return trip necessary. All of this is done in a single appointment!