A general dentist will be the first to tell you that a broken tooth will not grow back like a fingernail or a broken bone. The only way to restore the former appearance of the tooth is with a dental restoration or tooth contouring.Whichever option the dentist recommends, the broken tooth will require a session…
What Are the Differences Between CEREC and Traditional Restorations?
You need to restore a tooth and you are not sure if you should choose CEREC or a traditional restoration. Before making a decision, compare the two. You will quickly realize that CEREC and traditional restorations have several key differences. Explore the differences to determine the right choice for your dental needs.
Comparing CEREC and traditional restorations
CEREC and traditional restorations are needed when a tooth is in poor shape but can be saved. Depending on the severity of the damage, the dentist might recommend an onlay, inlay or crown. Each option strengthens the tooth and restores the function. The dentist will ask the patient to choose between CEREC or traditional inlays, onlays or crowns.
Number of visits
CEREC restorations are completed in a single visit. The dentist uses a milling machine to fabricate the restoration and then fits it during the visit. Traditional restorations take at least two visits. The dentist prepares the tooth and takes an impression. The impression must go to a dental lab, so a technician can fabricate it. Patients go back to the dentist to get the permanent restoration.
The process for taking impressions is different with CEREC and traditional crowns. Dentists use silicone trays to take impressions for traditional crowns. The trays are filled with a putty-like material. Patients hold the trays in place to take the impressions.
Dentists use an intraoral scanner to take digital impressions for CEREC restorations. The scanner takes 3D images of the teeth. These impressions are more accurate than traditional impressions are. After the dentist takes the impressions, the images are transferred to a computer.
Accuracy of the model
For traditional crowns, dental lab technicians use the impressions as models. It is not unusual for the impressions to have inadequate detail around the margins. The technician must get creative when fabricating the restorations to make up for the lack of detail. Dentists do not have this issue with CEREC technology. The 3D images are accurate and the dentist can also look at the patient’s teeth for comparison if needed. That is a benefit of completing restorations for patients who are still in the office.
CEREC crowns are only made of porcelain. Traditional crowns can be made of porcelain. Also, patients can get traditional crowns made of porcelain fused to metal, gold alloys and base metal alloys. Crowns that contain metal can last longer than all-porcelain crowns. However, many people complain that crowns with metal cause tooth sensitivity.
Choosing a restoration option
CEREC restorations only take a single visit while traditional restorations take at least two. Dentists use intraoral scanners to take impressions for CEREC restorations. In contrast, they use silicone trays for traditional restorations. CEREC technology provides a more accurate model for restorations. CEREC is only available in porcelain, while you can choose from a variety of materials for a traditional restoration. Now that you know the difference between the two, you can schedule your dental restoration.
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