Single-Visit Crowns (CEREC) — What is it?


By Dr. Lincoln Loi

A porcelain crown is a restoration that covers, or "caps," a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. They are commonly indicated in:

  • Teeth that are heavily broken down
  • Teeth that have had root canal therapy
  • Replacing old, worn fillings
  • Protecting teeth that are cracked or fractured

What’s the difference between a traditional crown and a CEREC?

CEREC crowns are fabricated in-house using digital scanning and CAD/CAM technology. They are designed, milled and inserted on your initial crown appointment so that the procedure can be completed in one visit. This differs to the traditional method where the information is sent to an external lab and a second is required for the insertion of the crown.

However, CEREC crowns are not used in every single situation. In specific cases where a porcelain crown is not recommended, the dentist will organise to have the crown/s made by an external dental laboratory.

When would we need a crown?

To protect a weakened tooth (usually from decay or has had root canal treatment)To restore a broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down (grinding)To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of natural tooth structure left (as a general rule, if there is more than half the tooth missing a crown may be indicated). To cover a discoloured tooth that is broken down (If the tooth      isn’t broken down, a veneer will be a better option)

What is the process of getting a CEREC crown?

  1. The dentist will numb the area where the procedure is being done
  2. The tooth will be “prepared” to make space for the fitting of the crown, which includes removal of any residual decay or weakened areas.
  3. Once the tooth is prepared, chair-side digital scanning of the tooth will be performed (instead of the traditional method of taking moulds)
  4. The dentist will then be able to design the crown using the CEREC software and utilise the in-house milling to have the crown fabricated immediately.
  5. Once the crown is fabricated, the dentist will try the crown in and make any minor adjustments as necessary.
  6. For porcelain CEREC crowns, it will then be placed in a dental furnace to complete the crystallization process.
  7. The crown is then ready to be inserted, and permanent cement will be used to “glue” the crown to the tooth.

How long does the process take?

A CEREC crown will usually require ONE two-hour appointment at our clinic. There will be multiple breaks during the two-hour time frame whilst the dentist is designing/milling your new crown. These times are a great opportunity to have a stretch and a drink of water.

No need to have a second appointment for the insertion of the crown! No messy moulds required! And no temporary crown!

Want more information?

Although we are located in Footscray, we service all of Melbourne and the western suburbs including surrounding suburbs such as Yarraville, Seddon, Maidstone, Kensington and many more. Contact us here or call a member of our friendly team on 03 9689 4477 to find out more about implants.

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