I recently wrote about the advantages of crowns, but there’s one big disadvantage that we didn’t really discuss. You see, to make a traditional crown, most of the outside slivers of enamel have to b!e removed so that there’s room for the material of the crown.!
When there was no other way of restoring the full strength of a tooth, that’s what we did, there was no choice.!
But about 35 years ago, some clever dentists in Switzerland decided to make an improvement to these old techniques.!
They developed a computerised system that revolutionised how dentists could fix teeth. They called the system CEREC, which combines the words Ceramic Reconstruction and Esthetic (we say ‘aesthetic’ in Australia, but there you go…)!
This system uses a unique video camera small enough to fit over your teeth that takes ultra-high- resolution pictures and uses those images to make a 3D model of your teeth. !
The 3D model is used to plan a virtual replacement for your lost tooth structure. We’re careful to leave behind the strong remaining parts of your tooth to support the new filling.!
When we have the design we want, we use a block of specialised dental ceramic that’s been made in a laboratory to mimic the properties of your own enamel: it looks like a tooth, it’s as strong as your tooth and it lasts like your own teeth.!
The ceramic is ‘milled’ in a highly-precise piece of equipment that translates the 3D model into a real object. The ceramic is polished and prepared with a special adhesive and bonded to your tooth. It replaces only the bits and pieces of your tooth that had fractured or decayed, and it makes your tooth whole again.!
There are different names for this process, but the most common is ‘dental onlay’.!
Onlays, and their cousins, dental ‘inlays’, have been found by university researchers to be the single most successful way to repair a tooth we have ever invented. They are also less expensive than crowns and can be finished in a single visit.!
They’re not for every situation but they might be a good choice of you if you ever need a large filling replaced.!
Patrick Meaney was the 34th dentist in Australia to use this system, and since 1999 when he started using it, he has trained other dentists in Australia, New Zealand and the US to get the most out of this wonderful piece of modern dental science. !
If you have questions or queries about the Cerec system or any other dental concerns why not call S!helly on 4869 3111 or email help@MossValeDental.com.au!