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CEREC Crowns

CEREC Crowns in Carmel Mountain Ranch

If you have a damaged tooth, or are interested in covering a misshapen or stained tooth, you may be a good candidate for a CEREC crown from Carmel Mountain Ranch Dental Care.

Dr. Carpenter and Dr. Collado are both restorative dentistry experts and are highly skilled in CEREC technology. They love creating comfortable, convenient, same-day dental crowns for patients throughout San Diego. And once you learn about how CEREC crowns can change your life, you’ll love this advanced technology, too.

CEREC machine

What is CEREC?

CEREC is an acronym that stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. Essentially, this means that CEREC can create dental crowns and other prostheses (false teeth) in under a few hours. This technology is housed in dental offices to give patients the ability to restore broken or damaged teeth in just a single appointment.

Though the CEREC equipment used in each dental office may vary somewhat, all CEREC systems include at least three primary components:

  • An intraoral optical scanner that can capture images of the teeth and gums in a single scan
  • A computer or software system that can turn these images into a 3D digital model, and allow the design of the CEREC prosthesis
  • A computerized milling machine that turns the 3D digital model into a physical dental prosthesis, such as a dental crown.

The Basics Of CEREC Crowns

Traditional dental crowns are made by taking molds and impressions of the teeth, and sending this information to an outsourced, third-party lab. Then, the crown is made and sent back to the dental office. This process usually takes 2-3 weeks.

CEREC crowns, on the other hand, use intraoral scans, CAD/CAM technology and a milling unit to produce the crown right in our office. CEREC stands for CEramic REConstruction, and with blocks of porcelain or ceramic, the milling units can manufacture prostheses like veneers, crowns, and inlays and onlays in just a few minutes. Which means you can get a crown placed in just one appointment!

CEREC Vs. Traditional Crowns: What’s The Difference?

First, it takes a lot less time for Dr. Carpenter and Dr. Collado to treat you with CEREC crowns. Traditional crowns are made at a third-party dental lab and must be sent back to our office, so you will need to come in for 2 appointments. CEREC crowns are made and placed during the same appointment, making them more convenient.

The materials used for the crowns differ, too. Most lab-made crowns are made from porcelain bonded to a metal base. This provides the best durability. CEREC crowns, on the other hand, are made completely out of a block of porcelain. They are slightly more fragile and a bit less durable, though the difference is quite small.

Finally, CEREC crowns can’t always be used in every situation. For example, if a tooth is broken off partly below the gumline, the 3D scanner used to build a CEREC crown won’t be able to take an accurate image of the tooth. A traditional dental crown may need to be used to restore the tooth in question.

What Are The Benefits Of CEREC Crowns?

Compared to traditional, lab-made crowns, CEREC crowns have a number of great benefits. Here are just a few of them:

  • Get a crown in just a single appointment – Traditional crowns usually take at least 2 appointments and you may need to wait up to 2-3 weeks to have your permanent crown created by a third-party lab and sent to your dentist. However, this is not the case with CEREC crowns, which take only a single appointment to build and place. You won’t have to wait around, and you can get treatment quickly.
  • You don’t have to wear a temporary crown – Normally, you have to wear a temporary crown after your tooth has been trimmed while you wait for your permanent crown to be manufactured. With CEREC dentistry, there is no need for a temporary crown, as your permanent crown will be built and placed in just one appointment.
  • No need for messy molds and impressions – Dental impressions use a thick, gooey material which some patients find to be uncomfortable. This is especially common if you have a strong gag reflex. CEREC uses a special powder and 3D scanner to take three-dimensional images of your teeth without using dental molds and impressions.
  • Less enamel must be removed for crown preparation – In many cases, your tooth will not have to be trimmed as much to prepare for a CEREC crown, compared to a traditional crown. This leads to a stronger natural tooth structure and a better overall result from your treatment.

How CEREC Crowns Are Made And Placed

First, your mouth will be examined to determine whether or not a CEREC crown is the proper treatment for your particular needs. If it is, Dr. Carpenter or Dr. Collado will clean your teeth, and anesthetize the area that is to be treated. Then, your tooth is prepared to provide a proper platform for the dental crown.

Next, digital scans are taken of your entire mouth. The digital scans are converted to digital molds that the CEREC milling unit can read to produce your new crown. Our dentists will have an opportunity to fine-tune your new crown for proper color, shape, size, and fit. Because everything is digital, the crown can be manufactured with extreme accuracy.

Once the crown is complete, your dentist will check to ensure the fit. And if everything looks and feels good, it will be permanently bonded into place.

The process only takes about 1-2 hours, and does not require a follow-up. You can get a crown in just one day with CEREC technology from Carmel Mountain Ranch Dental Care.

What Treatments Are CEREC Crowns Used For?

CEREC crowns can be used for any treatment that a traditional crown is used for, in most cases. They can be used to treat teeth with large cavities or to cap and protect teeth that have undergone root canal therapy. In addition, CEREC crowns can be used for cosmetic purposes as an alternative to veneers or dental bonding, or to replace old metal crowns made of gold or stainless steel.

The only exception is for teeth that have broken below the gumline, as the 3D scanner cannot scan these teeth properly. Because of this, a lab-made crown is usually recommended in these instances.

How Should I Care For My Crown?

Mostly, you can treat your CEREC crown just like you would treat a normal tooth. Brush 2-3 times a day for at least 2 minutes, and floss once per day. You may also want to use an antibiotic rinse every day to ensure that you kill any potentially harmful bacteria in your mouth.

In addition, avoid chewing on extremely hard foods or non-food objects with your crown, and don’t use your teeth as “tools” to do things like open packages. Anything that could damage a natural tooth could also damage your crown.

Finally, come see Dr. Carpenter and Dr. Collado at Carmel Mountain Ranch Dental Care every six months for a cleaning and oral exam to ensure that your crown is healthy and strong.

How Much Are CEREC Crowns?

Though CEREC uses modern, state-of-the-art equipment and enhances patient comfort, CEREC crowns are typically cost the same amount as a traditional, lab-made dental crown. Since cost and quality is so similar, CEREC is often a great choice because it allows you save time and enjoy a more convenient treatment.

CEREC crowns are typically covered by dental insurance plans, which makes them more affordable for patients who have dental coverage. For more information and to get a cost estimate for your treatment, contact us for a consultation.

Interested In Same-Day CEREC Crowns? Contact Us Today!

You shouldn’t have to wait to get the dental treatment you need. That’s why we offer CEREC crowns in Carmel Mountain Ranch. By using the latest dental technology, Dr. Carpenter and Dr. Collado can provide some of the best dental care in San Diego. Contact us for an appointment today at (858) 487-6453, or stop by our office at 12075 Carmel Mountain Rd, Suite 210, San Diego, CA 92128. We hope to see you soon!

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