Alison Simpson discusses how CEREC Tessera CAD/CAM blocks make it possible to create and fit a beautifully aesthetic crown in just one hour.
When I was planning to open my new dental practice, Trinity Dental, back in 2015, the idea of designing, milling and fitting a crown chairside in under an hour seemed a bit of a dream.
However, the world of digital dentistry does not stand still. Today that dream has become a reality thanks to the CEREC digital workflow now firmly installed in my practice.
Our in-house ceramic studio centres on state-of-the-art components from Dentsply Sirona. Specifically the CEREC Primescan intraoral scanner, CEREC Software, CEREC Primemill and CEREC Speedfire sintering furnace. They create a fast, validated digital workflow that together, combined with the CEREC Tessera glass ceramic material, makes achieving a ‘crown in an hour’ genuinely possible.
Speed and strength
CEREC crowns are nothing new in dentistry. They are fabricated from a range of materials including feldspar, lithium disilicate glass ceramics and zirconia. Each has unique indications for specific clinical applications.
However, with patients now actively seeking out same-day restorative solutions, the speed of the firing process can make all the difference. That’s where new CEREC Tessera advanced lithium disilicate blocks from Dentsply Sirona are ahead of the curve.
While it’s easy to stick with tried-and-tested restorative materials and processes, I’m always keen to try out something new.
Two things really interested me about CEREC Tessera; its material strength of >700 MPa giving me a new option especially for posteriors, and the rapid speed of firing.
While CEREC Tessera can be fired in conventional ovens, it is optimised to work with the CEREC Speedfire. It brings the firing time down to just four minutes 30 seconds.
Taking the first step
While it may seem a bit daunting to work with a new material, if you take it in stages and follow certain protocols, including tips and tricks you can learn from your colleagues, everything is quite straightforward. Simply mill, glaze, fire and place.
There was a bit of trial-and-error at first. Especially getting to grips with the staining and glazing.
With CEREC Tessera, the glaze is very important to the firing process. Under-glazing was one of my first mistakes. My tip: always do a double spray glaze, allowing seven seconds between coats to dry.
I’ve also learnt you don’t need to have any special artistic talent when it comes to staining. You just need to understand why you’re putting certain stains in certain areas.
It’s just like getting used to anything new; after a few practice runs you don’t even realise you’re doing it!
The rapid firing time of CEREC Tessera has made all the difference to the patient journey through the practice.
Instead of having to wait 15 minutes or more for conventional firing where it’s easy to get sidetracked onto other tasks, in the five minutes it takes with the CEREC Speedfire, I can bring the patient back into the chair. Then settle the patient and get on with final placement.
While it was the speed and strength of CEREC Tessera that first persuaded me to give it a try, since using it I have been really impressed with the aesthetics and overall chameleon effect it brings. This allows the material to blend smoothly into the arch.
The ease of shade matching is another bonus. This is why I’m happy to encourage others, especially the team here at my clinic, to give it a try.
Our patients love the fact they can have a restoration fitted in just one appointment. All without the need to wear a temporary or make return visits to the clinic.
Being able to create same-day restorations using CEREC technology and the latest materials is a hugely powerful tool. It results in greater efficiency, reduced treatment times, increased treatment options and ultimately satisfied patients.
I’m so glad I gave it a try!
To find out more about Dentsply Sirona’s CEREC Tessera CAD/CAM blocks, please visit www.dentsplysirona.com/tessera.
You can visit the online Dentsply Sirona Academy for a wide range of education resources, video tutorials, courses and CPD webinars at dentsplysirona.com/ukeducation.
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