CEREC crowns are a vast improvement on the traditional dental crown. Where conventional crowns can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to create in the lab, a CEREC crown is created in just two hours. That means you can have a fully restored tooth, from procedure to crown placement in just one appointment.
What are CEREC crowns?
CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic. Traditional crowns are made from physical impressions of the mouth which are sent to the dental laboratory. However, porcelain CEREC crowns are created in a much more efficient fashion.
Using technology known as Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CADCAM) dentistry, the machine takes exact digital measurements of the mouth. This digital impression is then sent to an in-office milling machine to create the custom CEREC crown.
Inside the milling machine, a perfect replica of the natural tooth is created. Because CEREC crowns have the exact measurements, there is no guesswork involved. The ceramic is molded into a crown that is one cohesive piece. This allows for optimal fitting in the mouth and can emulate even the tiniest crevices in teeth. Due to their preciseness, CEREC crowns are sturdier and will last a long time with optimal care.
How to get the most out of a CEREC crown
Porcelain crowns typically last anywhere from 10 to 30 years when properly maintained. However, the lifetime of any crown depends completely on the way it is used, and how well it is cared for.
Brush and floss the crown daily as one would a natural tooth. Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste to clear the crown of any food residue. Although the crown itself is resistant to tooth decay, the gums and surrounding teeth are still susceptible to bacterial attack. To protect the crown and keep the gums from infection, maintain oral hygiene. Gum infection or tooth decay around the crown can cause it to fail.
Getting frequent dental cleanings can increase the life of a CEREC crown. A cleaning with a checkup and X-rays every 6 months can help spot any small problems before they become big, expensive issues. The separation between crown and tooth, trauma and decay around the rim of the crown can cause crown failure.
Never use a CEREC crown as a tool, and treat it much like a natural tooth. Try not to bite down on hard objects, and limit hard, crunchy or chewy foods as much as possible. Bad habits like chewing on ice, biting fingernails or chewing on toothpicks should also be avoided.
Some conditions may affect the longevity of a CEREC crown, such as bruxism. Bruxism is characterized by the unconscious clenching and grinding the teeth, usually during sleep. Bruxism can greatly reduce the lifespan of a crown, in some cases causing it to crack after as few as 5 years. Dentists recommend having a custom mouthguard made that will protect the crown, and the rest of the teeth from the excess force of bruxism.
Take care of your CEREC crown
CEREC crowns can last decades. A crown does not need to be replaced simply because it is old. The lifespan of a CEREC crown depends completely on its treatment over the years. Treat a crown well, and it will thank you by lasting a lifetime. Call our office today to get a quote on a CEREC crown treatment to restore your smile and bite.
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