How a CEREC Crown is Made by Dr. Gabrielle Caron


Have you been told you need a crown and wonder how many trips to the dentist this will take? With new CEREC technology, crowns are complete in a single appointment. The creation and placement of the crown has become a commonly performed dental treatment with this new technology. CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics or Ceramic Reconstruction.

CEREC Technolgy
What is a crown?
A crown is a cover or cap placed over a tooth that restores the tooth to its normal shape, size, and function. Crowns rest on the existing root structure and usually last about 15 years for a well-maintained dental crown.

Why do I need a crown?
You may need a crown to protect a weak tooth from breaking or to restore a broken tooth. Crowns are also used to hold a dental bridge in place, cover a dental implant or cover discolored teeth. Sometimes a tooth cannot support a filling so a crown is needed.

Root Canal – Strengthening the Supporting Areas
In preparation for a crown, the dentist may take x-rays to check the roots of the tooth and surrounding bone receiving the crown. If the tooth has decay or there is infection or injury to the pulp, a root canal may be performed. Root canal treatment eliminates bacteria from the infected root canal. The inflamed or infected pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned to prepare for the crown.

How has the technology changed?
The benefits with CEREC dental crowns are less time in the dentist’s chair and more comfort. CEREC technology eliminates the gooey, uncomfortable putty used to make an impression of the teeth. Now, a small camera scans the teeth creating a digital impression or 3D scan. The small camera is contained in a wand-like tool that the dentist runs over the tooth/teeth needing repair. This digital impression is fed into a computer program and then sent to an on-site milling machine that carves the crown from a block of porcelain – in about an hour! Now the crown is ready to be placed. The process involves no impressions, powders, or a temporary crown.
CEREC uses CAD/CAM Technology – computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing.

What materials are crowns made of?
Crowns are made from several types of materials: metal alloys, ceramics, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or composite resin. At Caron and Jones Dental Care, we use EMax- which is an esthetic ceramic, and it is matched to the color of the surrounding teeth.

Placement of the Crown
The damaged tooth is reshaped along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. The crown is then placed with a special adhesive. Fit and color of the crown are checked by the dentist.

“CEREC crowns are more accurate than a lab-fabricated crown. CEREC technology scans the teeth within a tenth of a millimeter making the process more accurate, while giving us the ability to make adjustments to the bite if needed. We love being able to send patients home in one visit,” said Dr. Caron.