Utilizing this cutting edge CAD/CAM technology here at Cocoa Village Dentistry has proven to be very popular with our patients. For a majority of cases, no longer does one need to wait a couple of weeks for a crown to be fabricated at a dental lab – while you have a temporary crown in place. In addition to the benefit of this being single visit dentistry, the precision of the fit (which is crucial for long term success) is excellent thanks to the imaging and milling accuracy which is measured in microns (thousandths of a millimeter)!
The first thing that’s different from “older style” methods for fabricating crowns is the lack of impression trays filled with “goo” that needed to stay in the mouth for several minutes. With CEREC, we instead use a small intraoral video camera to image the teeth – it’s truly fascinating to watch.
After acquiring those images, all that information is processed by the computer into virtual 3D models. It’s upon those models that the restoration is designed. Restorations which are capable of being fabricated utilizing CEREC include crowns, inlays, onlays, veneers, and even short span fixed bridges.
Once the design phase is complete the computer transmits the information to the milling unit. A solid block of ceramic is placed into the milling chamber and the restoration is “sculpted” by two precision high speed diamond burs under copious water spray for cooling purposes. Within 10-15 minutes the milling is complete.
We have several types of block material to choose from – depending on the type of restoration as well as esthetic and structural considerations. Many of the blocks we use actually start out PURPLE in color! After the milling is complete the restoration is placed into a porcelain furnace which reaches temperatures of 1,600° F! At those temperatures the crystalline structure, and with it the color, of the blocks are changed.