New Smiles At Warp Speed

Get restorations in a day that live long and prosper.

Many people have something about their smile they would like to change. It might be simple or very complex. Thankfully, many of the more intricate alterations can be made in a day thanks to CEREC® CAD/CAM technology.

CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) was first used in dentistry 30 years ago. At the time, it was quite complex. But its benefits progressed rapidly because of CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics).

CEREC uses CAD/CAM technology to produce digital dental impressions and ceramic restorations such as crowns, veneers, inlays and onlays in a matter of minutes.

“On the sci-fi television series Star Trek, Dr. Leonard McCoy would scan a sick crew member or alien with a handheld ‘tricorder’ and immediately diagnose a sickness,” Dr. Alford relates. “Then he’d turn a button on the ‘tricorder’ and immediately fix the illness.

J. Terry Alford, DMD, of Advanced Dental Cosmetic Center in Bradenton, has been a CEREC dentist for nearly three decades. He was one of the first dentists in America to embrace this innovation that enhances the patient experience.

“We can’t do that in dentistry just yet, but thanks to CEREC and CAD/CAM technology, we have come a long way. For those who have this advanced technology, we can literally repair someone’s smile in a day.”

It typically takes two to three weeks to fashion a new smile using standard dental procedures. CEREC allows that work to be done in a fraction of the time. It also produces superior results, according to Eddie Corrales, a CEREC pioneer and industry leader in California.

The reason is that CEREC allows for the use of biocompatible and natural-looking ceramic materials that can be milled through a 3D printer in 15 to 20 minutes per tooth.
Neverthless, Dr. Alford still does a few things the old-fashioned way.

“We still take pictures and molds of the mouth before we start,” the dentist reports. “Then we begin the smile design process before we actually sit down to do the work in the clinic. We create and design the smile in the lab using modern cosmetic principles, then present the new smile to the patient. The patient takes an active role in the design.”

CEREC technology can be used to fabricate veneers, crowns, inlays and onlays.

Then, just as the physician in Star Trek scanned his patient, Dr. Alford scans his patient’s mouth, and the computer designs a smile to match what was created in the proposal. The design of the teeth is then sent to a 3D printer and milled.

Eddie, who works closely with Dr. Alford, then adds his incredible artistic touch to make the teeth naturally vibrant, beautiful and, often, whiter that the originals. And it only takes one visit to the dentist to build the smile the patient has always wanted.

“Not everyone needs this kind of treatment,” stresses Dr. Alford, clinical director of Advanced Dental Cosmetic Center. “Most often, simple bonding or whitening can give the patient a pretty smile. But for those who do need and desire a quicker result, we have it.”

Article courtesy of Advanced Dental Cosmetic Center. mkb
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