Let’s face it, very few of us have perfect teeth, free of decay and fillings. You can probably see a filling or two in your own mouth, which do just that – “fill” a cavity, or hole, in your tooth left from the excavation of decayed tooth structure. In many cases, those fillings are made of metal material and can go bad, weaken the tooth, or get additional decay under or around it. In fact, 1.2 billion of these metal fillings will need to be replaced in the next 10 years.* CEREC is a method used by Kellum Dental Clinic not only to replace these fillings, but also to restore any tooth that is decayed, weakened, broken, etc., to its natural strength and beauty. Better yet, it’s done with all-ceramic materials that are tooth colored in a single appointment! So, how does the CEREC procedure work?
Because Kellum Dental Clinic Values YOUR Time
Exam and Preparation
First, we examine the tooth and determine the appropriate treatment. It could be a simple filling, or a full crown, depending on how much healthy tooth structure is remaining and our clinical judgement. Next, we administer an anesthetic and prepare your tooth for the restoration, removing decayed and weakened tooth tissue. This preparation is just like we would do for many other restorative techniques.
We take 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, we coat 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, we use the CEREC machine to 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. We then employ our dental expertise to design the inserting block using the CEREC 3D computer program. Within a few minutes, 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, we try 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! Ask us about CEREC today.
*Harvard Health Letter, March 2000; NIDR of NIH, Dental Amalgam Study, 1993.