Our CEREC machine has completely changed the way we do dentistry. A CEREC machine is basically a ceramic milling machine that we have right here in our office. Instead of taking impressions and sending those off to a lab, we can create your crowns, implant crowns, inlays/onlays, bridges, and some veneers right in here while you wait. This eliminates the need for goopy impressions, fragile temporary crowns, and 2nd appointments that require another trip to the office and another round of anesthetic. 


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Cracked tooth

This was a cracked tooth requiring a full coverage crown. A crown strethens the tooth, allowing it to act as one unit, rather than 4 individual peaks (cusps) that can be wedged apart, causing pain or loss of the tooth. 

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Crown Prep

The tooth is reshaped to make room for the crown. At this point, we scan the tooth, creating a digital 3D model, and design your crown. Without the CEREC, we would have to take an impression to send to the lab, and make a plastic temporary crown for you to wear for up to 3 weeks. 

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In about 30 minutes, we mill your final, permanent crown from a high strength ceramic and bond it into place. The whole appointment takes about 2 hours from start to finish. 

Inlays and onlays

Sometimes a tooth needs a very large filling, but isnt quite ready for a crown. There are 3 material options for this. A metal filling (amalgam) can work very well, but is unsightly, and tends to fracture the tooth at the end of the filling's lifespan. A large composite can look good but doesn't last as long, due to the composite shrinking as it cures, leaving microscopic gaps between the tooth and the filling. The best option is a milled ceramic inlay/onlay. These have no shrinkage problems, and can have more conservative preps than crowns, leaving you with more natural tooth. 

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Old amalgam

This is an example of a tooth that had an old amalgam, which is fracturing the tooh (as they tend to do). 

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The tooth was prepped similar to the crown above, but with the left 1/3 of the tooth still intact. Meaning the patient has more of his natural tooth. This is a very difficult shape to make a temporary for, so without the CEREC, the tooth would need a full crown, resulting in additional loss of natural tooth structure. 

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The onlay is milled while you wait (about 20-30 minutes), and bonded into place. This is a much better option than a extremely large filling, and more conservative treatment than a full crown. 


Bridges can be a great option for replacing missing teeth. Both teeth that are adjacent to the missing tooth are prepared as crowns, and one solid 3-piece unit is cemented in. This crowns both adjacent teeth, and replaces the missing tooth. It is permanent, and does not come in and out. With our CEREC, we can make these bridges while you wait. Bridges take about 1.5-2 hours to manufacture. The whole appointment takes about 3.5-4 hours. While we're making the bridge, you can sit back and relax (with your mouth closed!). 

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Initial presentation

This patient's molar has broken off in a non-restorable way. The tooth will be extracted, with a bridge placed immediately to restore it. 

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The bad tooth is removed, and the adjacent teeth are prepared for crowns. 

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A ceramic, metal-free bridge is placed, allowing for the restored function and esthetics of the broken tooth.