It has been several months since I last touted the significant ways in which the CEREC computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD-CAM) system empowers me to provide a myriad of expanded services for our patients.
Television news reports about CEREC typically highlight the fact that teeth can be crowned within a couple of hours during a single dental visit. And I’ve written in the past about the fact that crowns, inlays, onlays, veneers and bridges that I make with CEREC are not just more convenient. They are BETTER as well! The margin where these restorations meet the tooth are more accurate, shade-matching is enhanced to provide for exceptional cosmetics, and the assortment of materials with which we can make these restorations just keeps getting better and better.
The most exciting addition to the CEREC palate of services within the past year involves dental implants. When one or more teeth are lost for whatever reason, dental implants can be utilized to support replacement teeth. The implant is buried beneath the surface of the jaw bone and it connects to a new crown above the gumline by way of a middle piece called an abutment. Up until this past year I was still dependant on a traditional dental laboratory to make a custom abutment for our patients. This meant that implant cases still involved multiple appointments with a 3-4 week delay while we waited for the laboratory to make our abutment. Thanks to changes in the CEREC software and dental materials now available I can today design and make custom abutments at the office!
One of our patients is from England but lives and works in the greater-Cincinnati area. Back at Christmas-time he had just been given the green-light by Dr. Lucas, our trusty local Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon. His implant was healed and ready for a crown to be made. The patient came from Dr. Lucas’ office directly around the corner to mine. We sat him down in our CEREC operatory and spent 20 minutes getting our necessary digital impressions. While the patient went out for lunch, Donna and I got to work on his custom abutment and crown. The patient returned from lunch, and about 45 minutes later he walked out to his car with his permanent abutment and crown securely attached to his dental implant. Later that day he was on a plane to spend his Christmas holiday back home in England. The patient was amazed! Dr. Lucas was amazed! Heck, Donna and I were amazed! It really is cool!
In September Drs. Terry Lowitz and Melissa Meier will join me in heading to LasVegas for Sirona Dental’s huge event marking the 30th Anniversary of CEREC technology! It will be three full days of exhibits, meetings, lectures, and yes, a little partying. I really can’t wait to see what Sirona has up its CEREC sleeve for next year! http://www.cereconline.com/cerec30