We offer CEREC® dentistry in Tracy. This is a new technology that many people are unfamiliar with. It is both fast and effective, making it ideal for our busy patients. To learn more about the process, here is what you need to know:
CEREC® vs. Traditional Restorative Dentistry
If you live in Tracy and one or more of your teeth need restoring, the most favorable options now available to you is CEREC® dentistry. CEREC®, which stands for CEramic REConstruction, is a relatively new field of dentistry that uses a computer in both the design and manufacturing stages of dental restoration. If you have any teeth that are damaged or are simply dissatisfied with your smile, you should first look into CEREC® because it is a faster solution than traditional crowns or veneers.
Traditional Dental Impressions
In traditional restorative dentistry, a dentist will ask the patient to bite into a tray roughly matching the shape of the upper or lower jaw. The tray contains a semi-solid material that hardens in a few minutes and will provide a detailed negative imprint of the teeth and gums. We will then send the imprint to a dental laboratory where a plaster cast of the imprints will help make the prosthesis (in this example, a dental crown).
While the procedure is quite simple, most patients dislike it intensely. Not only does the impression material leave a bad taste in their mouth but many people have a gag reflex and have a hard time with the impressions of the upper jaw. Additionally, it is a time-consuming process. A new crown can take two to three appointments to be permanently affixed to the tooth, requiring most people to take some time off of work.
CEREC® Dental Impressions
The CEREC® technique does away with the messy impression material, using a camera that takes a digital impression of the entire jaw, or just the teeth which need restoration. This entire process takes just a couple of minutes. Using special software, we can then convert the digital image into a 3-dimensional virtual model on the computer screen. We will then send the image to what is known as a milling machine, right there in the dental office. By offering CEREC® dentistry, this is the first in several ways that we make it more comfortable to have a dental restoration.
Next, we will place a small block of ceramic that matches the exact shade of the patient’s teeth in the machine that cuts the block down to the precise shape necessary. In anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, we will be ready to bond the ceramic, tooth-colored, restoration into place. We will first ensure the restoration fits perfectly and will then make a small adjustment if necessary. After which we will polish the restoration and fix it into place.
The beauty of this system is that we can accomplish all of this in a single sitting. Traditional methods require multiple visits to the dentist to adjust the restorations. With the CEREC® method, patients can have inlays, onlays, and crowns fitted in a single appointment. The tooth, or teeth, are restored in a matter of a few hours, with no temporary or return trip necessary.
In some cases, CAD-CAM ceramic restorations can last just as long as any other type. So, if you live in the area and have lost or broken any of your teeth, the simplest and easiest fix is CEREC® dentistry. Come and pay us one visit, and you can be out and about with a high quality, and lifelike dental restoration in one day.
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