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Same Day Dentistry FAQs


Q. What is same day dentistry?

A. It provides treatment in a single dental appointment for certain conditions using in-office CAD/CAM technology. Patients can receive milled metal-free crowns, veneers, onlays and inlays while they wait if their dentist has either a CEREC (made by Sirona) or E4D Dentist System (made by D4D Technologies) in the dental office.

Q. What is CAD/CAM dentistry?

A. CAD/CAM is an acronym for computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing. Dental CAD/CAM and metal-free materials are used by dentists and dental laboratories to provide patients with milled ceramic crowns, veneers, onlays, inlays and bridges, as well as abutments for dental implants to replace missing teeth.

Q. Are same day restorations long-lasting?

A. Today's same day CAD/CAM restorations are better fitting, more durable and more natural looking (multi-colored and translucent, similar to natural teeth) than previous CAD/CAM  restorations. They also are less likely to fracture than materials used in the past.

Q. What does it cost?

A. Costs for CEREC or E4D same day dentistry will depend on the normal and customary fees charged by dentists in your area, the extent of treatment required, and your dental insurance plan. Insurance reimbursement for in-office, same day dentistry is similar to reimbursement for restorations created by a laboratory. All-ceramic restorations, including those fabricated using CAD/CAM technology, tend to be a more expensive restorative option.

Q. What are the advantages?

A. With in-office CAD/CAM dentistry, multiple appointments for the same treatment are no longer necessary, which saves time. Patients only need to receive local anesthetic once for any necessary tooth preparations. Because in-office CAD/CAM restorations usually are designed based on digital impressions obtained with optical scanning technology, traditional impression materials and trays are not used. No distasteful material is held in the mouth in uncomfortable and bulky trays, and there's less likelihood of gagging. CAD/CAM dentistry also eliminates the need for temporaries, which reduces concerns about tooth sensitivities that could result when wearing temporary restorations, or about the temporaries falling out at inconvenient times.

Q. Are you a candidate?

A. Not every tooth can be treated with a CAD/CAM restoration. Your dentist will determine if a CAD/CAM restoration is among the appropriate treatment options for your condition. Additionally, despite improvements in the esthetics of CAD/CAM materials, patients may find that some CAD/CAM restorations look too opaque and lack natural characterizations.

Depending on the type of restoration that's needed (such as veneers), your dentist may prefer conventional laboratory fabrication techniques for the high esthetic value. Therefore, patients must discuss their particular situation and desires with their dentist, who will make the final treatment decision based on a thorough examination.

Q. How are the restorations made?

A. A digital impression is taken of tooth preparations using an optical scanner and entered into a computerized system. The dentist and staff use this system to make a virtual model of the tooth or teeth needing treatment and to design the crown, veneer, inlay or onlay. This involves identifying the appropriate color, shape and occlusal surface for the restoration. The design is sent via cable or wirelessly to a milling unit that will manufacture the restoration in approximately 20 minutes. The metal-free materials used for CAD/CAM restorations include blocks of porcelain, composite and lithium disilicate.

The mill uses burs to cut the block to the exact shape of the specific restoration. When milling is complete, the restoration is polished or stained and glazed to create a life-like appearance that will match and blend with the natural tooth structure. If stain and glaze are used (which can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, depending on what's required), the restoration is fired in an oven (similar to pottery) for about 15 minutes or less.

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    Dr. Ivory Hancock

    Washington, DC 20036
    (202) 737-7025

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    Kenneth A Ingber, DMD

    Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 331-7474

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    Dr. Scott Shalit

    Garnet Valley, PA 19060
    (610) 459-5859

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    Dr. Lance Panarello

    Aston, PA 19014
    (484) 498-2132

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    Dr. Dan David

    Phoenixville, PA 19460
    (610) 935-1015