WHAT IS CEREC®?
The CEREC® system involves two pieces of equipment: three-dimensional computer software (which uses information about the patient’s teeth and mouth to create digital 3D images) and a milling unit (which uses the images to fabricate the restoration). Aesthetic Smiles of New Jersey uses CEREC® technology to create beautiful, custom-designed porcelain dental crowns as well as inlays and onlays in just one office visit – a vast improvement over traditional methods, which require placement of a temporary restoration for one week or more while a laboratory manufactures the customized restoration. CEREC® restorations are just as attractive and enduring as those made in dental laboratories and are often used in reconstructive dentistry or cosmetic dentistry as part of a total smile makeover. With CEREC®, you can reclaim your oral health and smile aesthetic in one convenient office visit. To learn more about CEREC® technology, contact Aesthetic Smiles of New Jersey today and schedule a complimentary consultation.
CEREC® DENTAL CROWNS
What are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are durable coverings placed over the tooth structure to strengthen weak or decayed teeth. They are often used to protect a damaged tooth, restore a tooth after a root canal, hold a dental bridge in place, or cover a dental implant. Made from porcelain, these restorations are designed to fit comfortably over your enamel and blend in seamlessly with surrounding teeth for structural and aesthetic support. While many dental crowns are manufactured with composite material, our cosmetic dentists have found that porcelain can offer a greater degree of strength over time, in addition to natural-looking beauty that very closely resembles tooth enamel. Depending on your unique needs, dental crowns can provide vital protection for an improved bite as well as an enhanced smile appearance.
Same Day CEREC® Crowns vs. Traditional Lab Crowns
Many dentists and patients alike agree that CEREC® improves upon conventional methods of placing dental crowns by allowing a more comfortable treatment experience, better results with a higher level of accuracy, and a dramatic reduction in treatment time. The traditional protocol for dental crowns involves patients biting into a gooey putty to create an impression of the teeth, which would be sent to a dental laboratory for manufacture. Without CEREC® technology, this would be necessary to craft a custom-designed restoration that ensures a proper fit within your mouth and bite. Consequently, a turnaround time of at least one week, in addition to multiple dental appointments, is typically required while a laboratory fabricates your restoration.
CEREC® eliminates the need for external creation of your dental crown. With state-of-the-art computer software, CEREC® creates a digital impression of your teeth. Three-dimensional images are rendered on a computer monitor, allowing you to see the restoration before it is manufactured. This information is then processed and sent to an in-office milling machine, where your restoration is crafted from strong porcelain and placed over your tooth in a single office visit. By the time you leave our office, you can enjoy your new, high-quality crown that can last decades.
How Much Do CEREC® Crowns Cost?
Depending on the complexity of your treatment plan, CEREC® crowns can be more affordable than lab-made restorations. Because the CEREC® process is completed in-house, fees for a dental laboratory and a temporary restoration traditionally incurred are not usually necessary. While your cost estimate will depend on a number of factors—including how many dental crowns are required, the geographic location of the treatment, and the expertise of your cosmetic dentist, and whether your treatment is part of a larger procedure (such as a root canal)—the average price of each CEREC® crown typically ranges from $500 to $850 after insurance. Once your needs are assessed in a consultation, our office can provide you with a personalized quote and your financial options before the start of any treatment.
CEREC® Inlays and Onlays
What are Dental Inlays and Onlays?
Sometimes, the dental decay suffered by a tooth is not significant enough to warrant placement of a crown. Inlays and onlays are tooth-colored porcelain coverings that can provide more protection than a filling, but are not designed to enclose the entire tooth structure like a dental crown. While an inlay is placed on the inside of the tooth surface, an onlay is additionally meant to cover one or more of the pointed tips (cusps) on top of the tooth as well as the interior surface. Inlays and onlays can reinforce and restore the damaged walls of enamel while offering a seamless, natural-looking appearance within your smile.
Dental Inlays and Onlays vs. Fillings
Fillings have long been used to restore teeth affected by mild decay. Traditionally applied using a number of materials (either gold, amalgam, or composite) to fill the decayed area of a tooth, they are considered a steadfast solution to restore the integrity of weak enamel while preventing further damage. However, patients who require more extensive protection of a decayed tooth can typically benefit more from porcelain inlays or onlays, which envelop a larger portion of the tooth structure. These coverings are utilized when the degree of decay in a tooth does not necessitate a crown. Unlike fillings, our inlays and onlays are custom-crafted by CEREC® technology to fit easily over the affected portions of your tooth.
How Much Do CEREC® Dental Inlays and Onlays Cost?
As with dental crowns, the cost of inlays and onlays will largely depend on the geographic location of your treatment and the expertise of your dentist, as well as other considerations unique to your treatment plan. Onlays are typically more expensive than inlays, as they cover a larger portion of the tooth structure. Fortunately, our practice’s use of CEREC® technology typically cancels the need for outside lab fees. Although your cost estimate will be influenced by the location of the treated tooth, how many teeth are being treated, and the size of the restoration, the average price of inlays and onlays is comparable to the cost of CEREC® crowns. Rest assured that our cosmetic dentists will provide you with a personalized quote, as well as our accepted modes of payment, before any dental work begins.
WHAT IS THE CEREC® PROCESS LIKE?
To begin the CEREC® process, Drs. Romano, Bizzarro, or Dunn will prepare the tooth for the new restoration. This may involve administering anesthesia and removing decay or unhealthy tooth structure. Next, he takes digital photographs and optical impressions of the patient’s teeth and bite; no messy trays are necessary. He then enters this information into the CEREC® software, which transmits it to the milling unit. The milling machine then custom-crafts the restoration in a process that takes about an hour, during which the patient can sit back and relax. When the restoration is ready, the dentist places it in the treated location, ensuring an appropriate fit within the teeth and mouth . The typical result is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind restoration that matches a patient’s appearance and smile flawlessly.
How Long Do CEREC® Restorations Last?
Dental crowns, inlays, and onlays designed with CEREC® technology can provide years, and even decades, of enduring strength and beauty when they are properly taken care of. While these porcelain restorations have surpassed 20 to 30 years of use for some patients, the shelf life of your CEREC® crown, inlay, or onlay will ultimately depend on how well you care for it once it is placed. After a CEREC® restoration is bonded to a tooth, it behaves much like your natural teeth and is similarly affected by dental decay and bacteria. Good oral hygiene habits, such as daily brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups, can generally minimize the chances of premature restoration failure for long-lasting protection of your tooth enamel. Because grinding and clenching the teeth have been known to cause excessive wear and unnecessary tooth damage, seeking solutions like a nighttime dental guard can also typically prolong the longevity of your CEREC® restoration if you are prone to exerting undue pressure on the enamel.
How Do I Choose the Right CEREC® Dentist?
Choosing the best CEREC® dentist to place your crown, inlay, or onlay can mean the difference between a durable, state-of-the-art restoration and a temporary, lackluster result. While CEREC® technology can offer unparalleled accuracy in crafting a restoration that fits comfortably within your surrounding teeth, this precision means nothing if your treatment is not executed by a qualified cosmetic dentist who is familiar with the CEREC® system.
To ensure your porcelain restoration is meticulously fabricated and expertly placed by a well-versed CEREC® dentist, the following tips can help guide your search for the best person to perform your treatment:
- Ask your prospective dentist how often they utilize CEREC® technology to craft their restorations. This can shed light on whether or not they are extensively experienced in using CEREC® software to manufacture your crown, inlay, or onlay.
- Request to see before-and-after photos of previous patients who received a CEREC® same day restoration to determine whether the results are up to par with your aesthetic desires.
- Try to find online dentist reviews written by patients who received a CEREC® dental crown, inlay, or onlay to glean an idea of the treatment process and gauge their levels of satisfaction with the outcome.
Patients who need to have a tooth repaired can do so in just one dental visit thanks to CEREC® technology. If you are interested in CEREC® single-visit restorations, contact Aesthetic Smiles of New Jersey today to schedule a complimentary consultation.