Q: What does “same-day” dentistry refer to?
A: In the past, or in offices where CEREC is not used, if a patient needed a crown (a cap over a problem tooth) or a or partial crown, it took at least two visits separated by two weeks to fix.
The first visit took 1 ½ hours to shape the tooth and take a gooey impression that was then sent to a lab. The patient wore a plastic temporary for two weeks, if it even stayed on. The second visit was another hour to remove the temporary, clean things up, and glue the restoration onto the tooth.
At Ashland Dentists, we use CEREC to take a digital impression with a camera wand and then design, fabricate and install the restoration in 1 ½ hours, often while we do other things like whiten a patient's teeth or do a cleaning ... or while you kick-back on your smart phone or read People Magazine (we know, no one reads People, right?! :) ) No second appointment, no temporaries … done!
Q: Is CEREC and digital dentistry new?
A: The computer aided design (CAD) of dental restorations has been possible with CEREC for almost 20 years! What is new is that the CEREC Omnicam camera is now recording in streaming video that is able to capture images like never before. It does not require that the teeth be covered in a powder first for the camera to see, as was necessary in previous versions of the technology. This means that the patient doesn’t have a bunch of powder in their mouth and the patient can take breaks whenever they want without worrying about smearing powder and having to start over. On a technical note, it also means that the dentist can get extremely creative with ways of taking an impression.
Q: Why should I care if my dentist uses CEREC digital technology?
A: Embracing digital technology causes an office to operate with it’s eyes wide open to the ongoing possibilities of better overall dental care at a greater value to patients. The CEREC dentist is the diagnostician, surgeon and lab. In other words, “the buck stops here”, as the saying goes. The CEREC dentist knows the intimate details of the dental situation start-to-finish and has infinite flexibility in producing an excellent result.
Q: Do all dentists who use CEREC digital technology produce the same results?
A: As with the use of any technology, the operator must rely on judgment, skill, education, support and ethics to provide excellent results. Dr. Kivel is proud to be a Mentor for the Cerecdoctors training center based in Scottsdale, Arizona. By being a Mentor, Dr. Kivel stays up to date on the technology, refines his skills through continual discussions and participation through seminars, webinars and an iphone app (his typical “lunch date”), as well as instructing students in Scottsdale.
Q: Is the material used for restorations made in your office the same as from a good lab?
A: Yes, the good dental labs in the U.S. and our milling unit use the same exact materials. The material of choice these days is Ivoclar’s Emax; strong, beautiful, accurate, great bonding strength and biologically healthy! Dozens of different materials are available for different applications.
(Caution: Many corporate dental offices ship their gooey impressions overseas for restorations of unknown material composition).
Q: How can using CEREC be healthier for me?!?
A: The answer lies in the concept of “minimally invasive”. When a dentist is able to fabricate a restoration same-day and with infinite choices for the design of the restoration, the result is the preservation of natural tooth structure and an optimum bond of the restoration to the tooth. Gone are the days of every cavity or replaced filling turning into a full coverage crown. Instead, partial or minimal coverage crowns are the norm.
If you don’t mind seeing teeth mid-treatment, click here for some examples:
- Insert screen shots picture of restorations.
Q: Do you use CEREC in-office for every possible restoration?
A: No. There is still a place for the master craftsman. When it comes to a full-mouth rehabilitation, we involve a dental lab where the case can first be prepared in wax and then studied closely with all of the ideas for an optimal outcome shared between dentist and technician. Then we’ll use CEREC to take impressions and instantly send it to the lab over the internet! While the patient is relaxing into their new bite and cosmetics while wearing custom interim restorations, the technician will fabricate all of the final restorations and the study of the case repeats. Once approved by all, the restorations are finished and polished with every attention to detail and sent back to our office. With the master craftsman involved we have the perfect team for finishing cases that involve up to 28 teeth at a time.
Q: What else is CEREC digital technology used for?
A: Once we figured out we could take digital impressions, the whole way of doing ,and thinking about dentistry changed! And there is no end in site. Here are just a few more applications of the technology:
- Copying nature: CEREC digital technology allows us to copy a patient’s existing teeth with amazing accuracy.
One application of this is when a patient presents with a tooth that feels and looks great but is decayed or fractured. This can be surprisingly complicated under some circumstances such as, fixing one single front tooth perfectly, managing a super sensitive bite, fixing a tooth under a partial denture, maintaining a patient who clenches and grinds heavily, helping an Alzheimer/dementia/memory loss patient who needs rapid care with perfect results.
By digitally copying all or just what we like about a tooth, we can then fabricate a restoration nearly identical to the original tooth. This is impossible without digital copying using CEREC and has proven to be perhaps the biggest advantage that patients immediately recognize.
- Implants: With Cerec technology, we are able to change the digital workflow and costs of implantology so much that we can literally reduce the patient’s cost of an implant crown by HALF! And, as you’ll read in the FAQ on implant surgery, the fees on implant placement are sliced in HALF and made extremely safe and predictable!
- Orthodontics/Invisalign: With digital impressions we can simulate your orthodontic results right there and then. Also, we cut down the costs of providing Invisalign to patients. Lastly, we make treatment modifications a breeze by taking digital check up impressions to make sure that you are on track.
Q: Who makes CEREC and where can I learn more?
A: CEREC is made by Sirona. You can learn more on their website.