Dental crowns and veneers are tools to improve the appearance of teeth and protect them from further damage. They have been successfully used in dentistry for many years but several advances in technology in recent years has revolutionised the way they are used.
Modern crowns and veneers are for the most part made out of porcelain because of its similarity to tooth enamel. They are also significantly thinner than previously which means that less tooth enamel has to be removed before application. This was always a concern for dentists as they never liked having to remove otherwise healthy enamel.
However, one of the most significant introductions over the last few years, and one could even argue in the history of dentistry, is Cerec. This is a new technology that allows dentists to utilise several areas of new technology to produce dental crowns and veneers in just a single appointment. In the past, a dental crown would need to be manufactured with the help of several time consuming dental moulds and conventional x-rays. The average time to manufacture a crown was about two weeks. Using new Cerec technology, which in turn uses digital x-rays and three-dimensional imaging, this has been brought down to about half an hour.
The process begins with the dentist taking a digital x-ray of the tooth in question. An image is more or less instantly displayed in the computer screen and can give the dentist an incredibly accurate three-dimensional view of the teeth. They can then use this image to design a crown or veneer on the screen. This image is then relayed to a computer guided mill where the new crown is sculpted from a single piece of porcelain in as little as six minutes, and can be immediately fitted into the mouth using dental bonding. Because the porcelain is a single piece it is also incredibly strong. This new Cerec technology available at Swindon dentists represents the future of dental technology.