How Does CEREC Work?

CEREC, the Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, is a significant advancement in dentistry. The digital CAD/CAM system has led to increased reliability, efficiency and accuracy in the fields of restoration, orthodontics and implantology.

CEREC replaces the need for traditional methods of creating impressions, molds, and dental appliances. It is a computerized design unit that also is fitted with state of the art software, and a precise computer-guided milling machine. The system allows dental professionals to create inlays, onlays, crowns and veneers in a single appointment, saving patients time and money.

What Does CEREC Do?

Traditionally, restorations involve two stages of treatment. First, the examination and diagnostics stage, which usually involved goopy impressions. A couple of weeks later, the fitting of the final crown or veneer would take place. By using the CEREC technology system, the dentist is able to take a 3D image of the tooth, which is used to accurately design and mill a new ceramic restoration, and fit it precisely into the exact location, all within a single visit.

What to Expect

The 3D image is taken using a special camera, which then gets uploaded to the design unit to be used to create an accurate and detailed 3D model of the new tooth. This is used as a blueprint by the milling machine, which mills the new tooth from a block of high quality ceramic. The dentist selects from different types of ceramic and custom stains in order to closely match the patients’ remaining teeth.

At the start of treatment, any local anesthetic or sedation is applied to help the patient relax and enjoy a painless and comfortable procedure. Once the impression of the tooth is taken, the tooth is prepped for the restoration – such as reshaping a tooth before a crown is fitted, or removing enamel to place a veneer.

When both the patient and the dentist are happy with the results, the dentist will use a cement bond to firmly secure the restoration. From start to finish, it is possible for a CEREC CAD/CAM based treatment to be completed under two hours.

Benefits of Same Day Crowns

The primary benefit is convenience because the CEREC system removes the need for the two-week wait, the unpredictability of temporaries and the need for a second visit. The dentist is in complete control of the process and can accurately customize the new prosthetic tooth in a way that most benefits the patient.

Contact our Houston dental office to schedule your appointment today. Whether you have decay or it has been over six months since your last professional cleaning. We look forward to helping you attain your best smile!

The Ins and Outs of Invisalign®

Invisalign® is an orthodontic alternative to traditional wire braces. The clear retainers were developed by Zia Chisti in the 1990s after Chisti experienced teeth straightening as an adult. He felt a retainer could be used to gradually shift teeth into their desired location using a series of small movements. After years of research and development, the product was released into the market in 1999.

Since then, Invisalign® has proved a popular means of straightening teeth without unsightly and oftentimes uncomfortable wire brackets and braces. But, before choosing Invisalign® over traditional braces, it pays to know more about the procedure and how it will impact your budget and your lifestyle.

What’s Involved?

A series of clear or “invisible” aligners are created by the dentist following a smile analysis using 3-D imaging technology. This provides the dentist with a road map that enables them to identify the necessary steps to shift teeth from their initial position to the final desired position. The retainers consist of strong, medical grade plastic, and are customized to closely fit the patient’s teeth. The retainers are worn for approximately two weeks, moving the teeth incrementally, and then replaced with the next set until the treatment is complete and the final desire teeth position is attained.
Invisalign orthodontic treatments present many benefits, including:

  • Invisibility – clear aligners offer patients discretion and the ability to straighten teeth without visible hardware.
  • Convenience and Function – patients can remove the aligners in order to eat and drink, and to brush and floss regularly. And Invisalign doesn’t interfere with speech in the same way as metal braces.
  • Comfort – though patients may still experience some initial soreness, Invisalign offers a more comfortable overall experience than traditional metal braces.
  • Convenience – patients see their dentist for checkups once every 4-6 weeks, but additional lengthy appointments for fitting and adjustments are not required.
  • Peace of Mind – because the process uses 3-d imaging technology, patients can envision what their teeth will look like following treatment.

Choosing Invisalign®

The clear retainers are appealing to many because they are virtually undetectable. Invisalign can address issues of gapped teeth, crowded teeth, and some bite problems, but more severe cases will see better results with traditional wire braces.

Patients are encouraged to take care of their plastic trays by maintaining good oral hygiene and by cleaning their trays regularly. Patients are also discouraged from smoking while wearing the aligners in order to prevent them from becoming stained and discolored. And apart from time spent eating and cleaning their teeth, patients should wear their aligners all day, every day – this requires a mature approach to caring for both your trays and your teeth.

If you feel you may be a good candidate for Invisalign orthodontic treatment, contact Dr. Krell, your Houston dentist, today and ask them about the “clear choice”!