We have been providing CEREC same day crowns for over a decade for high quality, one-visit porcelain restorations and crown crowns. The restorations are esthetic, durable and precise.
I think most people know what Crowns and Porcelain Restorations are but could you please give a quick overview of what they are and the difference between the two?
Dr. Darren McKeever: A crown is a restoration that goes around all the surfaces of the tooth that’s been damaged or a root canal tooth. The biting surface, the cheek side, the tongue side, the sides that touch the neighbor teeth – they’re all restored by a crown. It’s all one piece. Porcelain restorations don’t have to be as invasive as that. A porcelain restoration can sort of be a hybrid between a crown and just a simple filling. Usually, in my practice, we limit those to where there is still a lot of good tooth structure left, but an entire cusp of a tooth might be missing. You really can’t rebuild a cusp of a tooth with filling material and expect it to last a long, long time.
In my opinion, situations like that, you’re really renting that restoration. You’re not owning it, but nowadays, thanks to the digital revolution, we can actually fabricate restorations that really precisely fit the part of the tooth that has to be restored, yet maintaining the rest of the tooth that may be healthy. That way you don’t have to have a cap. Therefore your chance of risking a root canal is a lot less.
Your office uses the CEREC method – an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics which also means Ceramic Reconstruction. Could you explain for us how this method works and what’s involved in the process?
Dr. Darren McKeever: That is the greatest question in the world because this particular technology has made me absolutely love coming to work every day. The CEREC system is a means of not only milling a porcelain restoration which fits precisely to fit the situation and the tooth that it’s going to be restoring. It also acts as the machine that optically takes the impression of the tooth and whatever neighbor teeth and the bite of the patient so that you don’t have to bite down on that goop for five minutes that makes everybody gag before you send the impression off to the laboratory.
In addition, since it’s milling the final restoration right there and then, there’s no temporary involved so you don’t have to wait for that impression that gagged you to death to go to the lab and they fabricate the restoration and two weeks later they send it back. Because it’s all done in one visit, usually you only have to get one shot because by the time you’re done, you still have more than enough time from the initial anesthesia. Who really wants to come back two weeks later, have a temporary that may or may not have been comfortable taken off, get numb again to have a restoration fit, and then you’re numb to the point where you’re like, “Wow. I had to get shot twice for that.”
In my opinion, that’s just not a lot of fun. The CEREC restoration allows us to do all of that in one visit and people walk in and they go back to work and they’re like, “Hey, I got my crown done,” and nobody wants to believe them. They’re like, “You can’t do that. You just can’t do that.” You can tell I’m getting a little too excited about it, but we hear that story all the time. Sometimes we have to send people’s x-rays to them by email so they can show their coworkers, yes, you can do that.
How long does the CEREC process take from start to finish to produce the tooth? Can a person complete the process in really just one visit?
Dr. Darren McKeever: Absolutely in one visit is possible depending on the restoration that you’re trying to utilize here. It’s actually a good question again. If you’re going to do a crown, it takes a little bit longer because in my office we actually do the glazing laboratory work. We custom stain them. That adds on about thirty five minutes to the process, but someone can walk in and then walk out of my office – they walk in needing a crown. They walk out having their final crown finally cemented in about two hours total. Not all of that is time with their mouth wide open. There’s a lot of down time while we’re waiting for things to happen with the machine.
If it’s a porcelain restoration that isn’t a crown, because it’s a little bit different of a technique, we usually have them in and out in about an hour, an hour and ten minutes. Like I said, they go back to work and people just cannot believe that that technology exists.
Once the new tooth is placed in the mouth, how long will it last?
Dr. Darren McKeever: CEREC restorations are using materials that we’ve been using in dentistry for many, many, many years. They have a long track record of lasting a very, very long time. One of the materials is so life-like in how it looks and reflects light and how it wears with neighboring teeth and how it responds to hot and cold that these restorations last extremely long periods of time and very much longer in my opinion than a composite or a white-colored tooth filling.
The crown materials that we use are so strong that their breakage strength is actually much higher than the breakage strength of a typical porcelain fused to metal crown. They’re not compromised materials just to accommodate this fabulous technology. They’re the cutting-edge materials that dentistry is shifting towards and these things last many, many years.
How has using the CEREC technology benefited both your patients and your practice?
Dr. Darren McKeever: I think it’s allowed us to really establish a much better repertoire with all our patients. We can deliver the final restoration in a much more convenient manner than before. We’re inconveniencing people so much less because it’s one visit, but also, there’s downtime. During the downtime I can sit there. I can talk with my patients. I can find out what the grandkids are doing. I have nothing to do at that time either! They’re not just sitting there with their mouths wide open. We’re finding out what are they going to have for dinner tonight or oh, here’s a recipe I use. In my practice it’s been great because I’m really, really able to sit and I’m chatting with the patients. By the time they’re done, after about an hour or two hours for a crown, not only have we been able to pass the time much quicker for them, I’ve learned a lot more about who it is I’m working for.
If you’re interested in speaking with Dr. Darren McKeever, you can either go online to www.mckeeverdentalcare.com or call 973-839-8180 to schedule an appointment.