In dentistry, surgical techniques are always being developed, and older ones fall into disuse. A new piece of equipment enters the clinic, and everybody needs to adapt to new systems, whether it be a laser filing, replacing the old medical fillings or UV-cured resins finding their place in composite fillings. Not to mention the changing expectations when it comes to the comfort and professionalism of the industry as a whole, moving from clinical to more holistic.
The most significant development in recent years has been our investment in CEREC automated milling, allowing fabrication to happen here at our dentist in Waterlooville, which significantly reduces the time taken to produce oral prosthetics like veneers, crowns and inlays.
What does a CEREC machine do?
Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC) is ironically a mouth of a name, but it doesn't give us much of a clue!
A CEREC machine is a specialised CNC mill that runs software that we have in the clinic. We can design a prosthetic and then have a necessary tool path generated to cut that prosthetic from pre-prepared porcelain blanks. This moves a lot of what would have been traditionally carried out in a dental laboratory to our dentist in Waterlooville and produces only what is needed whilst our patients wait. This has also allowed us to minimise secondary appointments and the use of temporary solutions, saving time and reducing discomfort.
For the prosthetics to have a strong bond with the remaining part of the tooth, an accurate picture of the interfacing surface is required. We use an intra-oral scanner to produce a 3D model of the affected tooth and complex geometry to be captured and accounted for.
Starting with a vision of the finished restored tooth and the scan of the prepared tooth, the necessary prosthetic can be inferred, like designing a replacement jigsaw piece. The finish, tooth structure and enamel shade are all taken into account at this stage.
The final design is then converted into a set of tool paths for the next stage.
We load our CEREC with a porcelain composite blank of the appropriate shade and set it to work as its milling head traverses through the tool paths, carving the prosthetic from the blank in a matter of minutes. It can then be removed from the mill, ready to use with very little post-processing.
Fitting varies depending on the nature of the component and its location on the tooth. Smaller translucent components can be held in place using UV-cured resin, but if they are too bulky, the penetration of the UV light through the porcelain composite with not be enough to set the resin. In such a case, more traditional dental cement would be used.
If you or one of your family members are curious about how we could help you with CEREC or restore your oral health, please feel free to get in contact with our dentist in Waterlooville. We do accept messages outside of office hours and will be happy to get back to you if you leave your enquiry with the phone number.