Digital Dentistry

CEREC Same Day Crowns & Onlays

If your tooth is in need of repair greater than the strength a filling can provide, your tooth may need a crown or onlay. In the past, having a crown or onlay made required 2 visits, two shots, a messy impression, a plastic temporary crown and 2 weeks.

Today, with the advent of CEREC, one of the most exciting technological breakthroughs in modern dentistry, we are able to generate superior quality porcelain restorations (crowns, onlays, & veneers)  in a single visit.

  • Single visit convenience – no temporaries
  • No uncomfortable impression trays
  • Beautiful esthetics – color matched ceramic
  • Enamel – like materials – natural look and feel
  • Clinically proven – millions of successful restorations worldwide

A CEREC restoration isn’t just convenient, it is also healthy. Years ago, dentists could only use amalgam, gold and other metals to fix decayed and damaged teeth. With CEREC, we use a strong, tooth colored ceramic material to restore your teeth to their natural strength and beauty. Also, CEREC is chemically bonded to your tooth, to save as much healthy tooth tissue as possible, while providing you with a restoration that strengthens your tooth.

Dental crowns are natural-looking, tooth-shaped caps that cover a damaged or missing tooth, restoring a full and beautiful smile. These caps are cemented into place to provide both strong and visibly appealing replacements for natural teeth. Crowns are usually necessary when the tooth is broken down to the point where a filling will not be effective.

A dental crown can be used for various reasons including covering discolored or misshapen teeth, and in conjunction with bridges and dental implants. Other benefits of dental crowns may include:

  • Holding a cracked tooth together to prevent further damage
  • Covering and supporting a tooth with a large filling
  • Restoring a broken tooth

The dental crown process takes place in two phases or appointments. At the first appointment, the tooth is prepared by filing or reshaping, so the crown can fit in securely and comfortably. The area around the tooth is numbed throughout the procedure with a local anesthetic. After the tooth is prepared, an impression is made of the teeth and gums using a paste or putty. The impression is then is sent to a laboratory to make a custom crown, which usually takes two to three weeks. Patients are given a temporary dental crown until the permanent crown is ready.

At the second appointment, the new crown is inspected for proper fit and tooth color. The temporary crown is then removed and the new one is cemented onto the tooth.

Crowns are a very reliable solution for major dental problems that have resulted in a severely damaged or missing tooth. There are several different materials used for crown restorations, each with their own benefits. Crowns provide a strong, sturdy, aesthetically pleasing replacement that can tolerate the same pressures as a regular tooth, letting patients enjoy the convenience of eating, speaking and smiling without any difficulties.

Rear teeth that hold large fillings are often prone to developing hairline cracks on their surface. Placing crowns on these teeth can relieve pain and restore full dental function. In front teeth, stains or chipping may cause embarrassment or older fillings may weaken the structure of the tooth. Porcelain crowns can provide more support than porcelain veneers. In teeth with root canal fillings, crowns can protect against breakage.

There are several different methods of crown restoration, each using a different crown material. Different types of crown material include:

  • Metal
  • Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal or PFM crowns
  • Resin
  • Ceramic
  • Porcelain

Some patients experience increased sensitivity immediately after the procedure, particularly if the crowned tooth still has a nerve in it. For sensitivity to heat and cold, some patients are advised to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Other complications that may occur with dental crowns are:

Pain or Sensitivity When Biting – This usually means that the crown is too high on the tooth. If this is the case, the dentist will be able fix the problem by adjusting the crown.

Chip in a Porcelain Crown – Resin can be used to repair the remaining crown. If the chipping is extensive, the entire crown may need to be replaced.

Loose Dental Crown – If the cement washes out from underneath the crown, bacteria can then leak in and cause decay.

In some cases, a dental crown may fall off entirely. If this happens, contact the dentist immediately. The dentist may be able to replace the crown or create a new crown if necessary.

Lasers in Dentistry

Lasers have been used in dentistry since 1994 to treat a number of dental problems. All lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. When used for surgical and dental procedures, the laser acts as a cutting instrument or a vaporizer of tissue that it comes in contact with. When used in teeth-whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of tooth-bleaching agents. When used to aid in TMJ therapy it promotes healing by increasing oxygen and blood flow to affected tissues and reducing inflammation and pain.

There are three types of lasers dentists use during laser procedures: hard tissue, soft tissue, and cold lasers. Each laser uses a different wavelength that makes it appropriate for cutting into that specific type of tissue. This works because each kind of tissue absorbs wavelengths of light in different ways. By altering the light’s wavelength (and sometimes pulse) scientists have figured out how to craft lasers with light wavelengths compatible with the tissues in your mouth.

A hard tissue laser is used primarily for your teeth. The wavelength of one of these lasers cuts through both water and bone, specifically the calcium phosphate that’s in your bones and your teeth. These lasers can very accurately cut into your teeth, removing small amounts for shaping purposes or in preparation for procedures.

The soft tissue lasers use a light wavelength that hemoglobin and water absorb easily. Hemoglobin is the molecule found in blood, which makes soft tissue lasers ideal for gum work. Some soft tissue lasers are diode lasers, which is a type of continuous-wave laser. These lasers are ideal for cutting into soft tissue and sealing the exposed blood vessels at the same time. This is the reason you don’t bleed very much during laser dentistry and why healing is quicker after laser dentistry. Soft tissue lasers are great for cosmetic procedures because you can begin to see results right away.

Cold laser therapy, also called MLS laser therapy, works using wavelengths of low-level light that are applied directly to the affected area. The tissue absorbs the light and causes a reaction where damaged cells respond and begin regenerating. This innovative technology allows our dentists to treat migraines and headaches, joint inflammation, sensitive teeth, fever blisters or cold sores, and surgical or trauma sites. This method of treatment promotes faster wound healing and improved nerve function along with accelerated tissue repair and cell growth.

Examples of Laser Dentistry

  • Tooth Decay

    Hard tissue lasers can not only detect cavities, but are also used to remove decay within a tooth and prepare the surrounding enamel for receipt of the filling. These lasers may even help preserve more- healthy tooth structure during cavity removal.

  • Gum Disease

    Lasers can actually reshape gums which can greatly reduce gum inflammation. Along with this, bacteria can be removed during root canal procedures to reduce inflammation in these instances along with chances for infection.

  • Biopsy or Lesion Removal

    Lasers can be used to remove a small piece of tissue (called a biopsy) so that it can be examined for cancer. Lasers are also used to remove lesions in the mouth and relieve the pain of canker sores.

  • Teeth Whitening

    Lasers are used to speed up in-office teeth whitening procedures. A peroxide bleaching solution, applied to the tooth surface, is ''activated" by laser energy, which speeds up of the whitening process.

  • TMJ Therapy

    With Cold Lasers, two wavelengths are used – one that reduces inflammation and one that relieves pain. Some patients experience long-term results after only 2-3 treatments. The effects are cumulative with most patients being prescribed 5-6 treatments every 2-4 days.

  • Other Uses

    Other ways that lasers are employed in working with the tissues of the gums is in clearing away tissue that is blocking wisdom teeth, exposing impacted teeth during orthodontics, removing the folds in oral soft tissues that are caused by dentures, lengthening patient crowns, dealing with restricted tongue movement, reshaping a patient’s gums to craft a more appealing smile, eliminating throat tissue that can lead to issues such as sleep apnea, and regenerating damaged nerves.

As seen in the examples above, the uses of lasers within the field of dentistry are wide ranging, with many exciting applications. Whether you’re having laser gum surgery or hard tissue work, expect an easier procedure and a shorter recovery time. Laser dentistry is a convenient solution to many oral and dental problems, whether serious in nature or simply cosmetic. Ask your dentist about laser dentistry the next time you need dental work completed.

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