Look at it! Isn’t it precious? Alright, so it’s not an adorable baby (though stay tuned, there are bundles of joy on their way for some of the Strobel Dentistry staff!), and many of you likely don’t get as stoked as we do by new dental equipment. But we could not be more excited for what this newest addition - the CEREC - will allow us to do for our patients!
The Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC) allows us to create many of the dental restorations we provide our patients, especially crowns on posterior teeth, entirely in-house. It employs a method known as CAD/CAM - computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing.
The original method was created Prof. Werner H. Mörmann and Dr. Marco Brandestini at the University of Zurich in 1980. Since then, it has gone through several generations of development. While the fundamental technology behind system has been usable since the first patient restoration in 1985, there has been a marked increase in quality over the past few years, thanks to ever faster advancements in digital imaging and design software.
So how does this time-tested, cutting edge system work?
We begin with a digital impression. This in itself is a huge plus - if you've had a traditional crown before, you know how uncomfortable those physical impressions can be! With this system we use an intraoral camera to record the prepared tooth, the tooth it hits against and how your bite comes together. All this information is fed into proprietary software so the doctor can sit down and design the perfect restoration for the tooth.
The design is then wirelessly submitted to our milling machine, where your restoration is created from a single ceramic block in as little as ten minutes! Don’t be alarmed when it first comes out - it will most assuredly be purple after this stage. Once we’ve checked the fit and made sure everything’s perfect, off to the oven the restoration goes. After baking and glazing the restoration will be perfectly matched to the shade of your natural teeth.
Gone are the days of imperfect impressions and weeks waiting on labs to bring us our finished product - well, almost gone, at least. With this new system we are currently bringing our patients crowns in as little as two and a half hours, and we can’t wait to watch this technology grow and continue to expand its use in our office. After all, if you have to have a major restoration, we want it to be as good - and as convenient - as possible!