Our Redondo Beach cosmetic dentist, Dr. Michael Fulbright, and his dental team know that strong, healthy teeth are the essential foundation for any smile makeover or full mouth rehabilitation. To ensure that our patients’ teeth are in the best possible condition, we offer a number of restorative porcelain dental crown options at our office, including CEREC® restorations. CEREC® dental crowns are designed and created right here at our practice, and can often be manufactured and placed in the same office appointment.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns, also known as “caps,” are custom-crafted restorations that cover a tooth’s entire surface, unlike porcelain veneers, which only cover the front of a tooth. Dr. Fulbright can utilize Procera®, Empress®, Lava™, and other brands of porcelain dental crowns at our practice. These different types of dental crowns are designed to fit over teeth that are broken, cracked, or otherwise structurally compromised. Dental crowns are often placed after endodontic therapy (root canals) to provide strength for damaged teeth, and can be used in conjunction with dental bridges and dental implants to replace missing teeth.
What Is CEREC®?
CEREC® is a comprehensive CAD/CAM milling technology that allows our dentist to create high-quality dental crowns and other restorations right here at our office. This eliminates the waiting period required when restorations are sent to an outside laboratory for production, ultimately making the treatment process more convenient and efficient. CEREC® utilizes a 3-Dimensional digital impression component (described in the Primescan section below) to create a model on which the restoration will be based. This “blueprint” will be relayed to our onsite CEREC® milling machine, which will precisely and delicately manufacture the permanent restoration. In many cases, patients can have their restorations designed and placed on the same day, removing many of the time-consuming steps associated with traditional dental restorations.
What Are the Pros and Cons of CEREC® Crowns?
CEREC® crowns offer patients numerous advantages. Benefits of this technique include:
- The CEREC® process uses Primescan digital scanning technology, which makes the impression used to create the design for the restoration. This eliminates the need for patients to spend lengthy periods biting down on uncomfortable, messy putties.
- For most patients, the crown can be designed, produced, color-tinted, and placed in a single visit.
- Temporary crowns are typically unnecessary since the permanent crown can be designed and manufactured here at the practice on the same day.
- The combination of CEREC® technology and the skills of our dentist can yield extremely precise results that blend naturally with surrounding teeth and provide strong reinforcement and protection for the original tooth.
As long as CEREC® crowns are performed by an experienced and skilled dentist like Dr. Fulbright, there are virtually no “cons” associated with the procedure. The final results should function, look, and feel like natural teeth.
CEREC® Primescan Digital Impression Technology
One of the many advantages of the CEREC® system is that it eliminates a step that many patients find uncomfortable and time-consuming: the creation of a putty dental impression. The CEREC® Primescan digital scanner allows our dental team to make this process much more comfortable and significantly more efficient. Instead of placing a gooey, putty-like material in the mouth to serve as a mold for creating the dental restoration, the Primescan device utilizes digital scanning technology to formulate a computer model of your teeth. The process simply involves the guidance of a handpiece over your teeth to produce a high-definition scan of the treatment area. The scan can then serve as a digital impression—a “blueprint” for the creation of a custom dental restoration designed to look natural and fit precisely on the tooth. In addition to offering a more accurate dental impression, a digital scan dramatically reduces the time necessary to produce it, and ultimately makes the process much more comfortable for patients.
The Dental Crowns Procedure
Traditional porcelain dental crowns usually require at least two office visits. During the first visit, the tooth is prepared and an impression is made and sent to a dental laboratory to have the crown custom-crafted. The patient is fitted with a temporary crown until the permanent one is ready. Then, the patient returns for a second visit to have the permanent crown bonded in place. However, with the CEREC® system, Dr. Fulbright can place dental crowns in just one visit to his office.
To begin the procedure, Dr. Fulbright will ensure that there is no decay in the tooth over which the crown will be placed. He will then gently file down the surface of the tooth to make room for the restoration, and utilize the CEREC® system’s imaging component to create a digital impression. The impression will then be used to mill the porcelain restoration here at the office. The machine will fabricate your crown to exact specifications so that it perfectly fits your prepared tooth. After a short wait, your dental crown will be ready and Dr. Fulbright will bond it onto your tooth. With proper care and maintenance, CEREC®-made porcelain dental crowns can strengthen and beautify smiles for many years to come.
How Much Do CEREC® Crowns Cost?
The cost of a CEREC® crown at our practice typically falls in the $1,500 and $2,500 range; however, the price often varies between patients depending on a number of factors relating to their customized treatment plan. The number of crowns being created, the materials utilized, and other components of treatment will be taken into account for the total cost. With this in mind, CEREC® crowns are developed right here at our office, helping patients avoid expenses and fees associated with sending them to an outside dental laboratory. In addition, many dental insurance policies offer some level of coverage for dental crowns, regardless of whether they are CEREC® or traditional restorations. Once your personalized treatment plan is developed, we will produce a cost estimate for the procedure and talk with you about the payment options accepted at our practice. We can also answer any questions you may have regarding the many types of dental financing plans available through our office. Our friendly dental team looks forward to helping you find a budget-friendly way to improve the health and appearance of your smile!
Our team takes pride in providing our patients with comprehensive dental care in a friendly and comfortable atmosphere. If you would like to learn more about restoring beauty and function to your mouth with porcelain dental crowns, contact the practice of Michael Fulbright, D.D.S. today.