Yesterday I discussed how new x-ray technology will make implant placement in our office more streamlined, today I want to talk about the latest in CEREC technology.

Cerec is the technology that allows us to make beautiful strong crowns by means of CAD CAM in our office in a single appointment. (See previous blogs under New Technologies). Currently we are using the strongest porcelain available for the technology call “e-max”. These ceramic crowns are made by the cerec machine in a “blue” chalk-like state and then crystallized (baked in our porcelain oven much like a potter bakes his pottery in a kiln), yielding high strength and beautifully glazed crowns. This crystallization requires an additional 40 minutes of appointment time, including the staining, glazing, baking and cooling of the restoration. (Our patients get to relax, read, work on our WIFI network or go shopping during this time.)

Now however, there is a newer material designed to meet almost the same strength characteristics of e-max without the necessary baking in the porcelain oven. This material called “Lava Ultimate” is made with a composite resin base with ceramic filler with a high resistance to fracture. While this material cannot be as effectively customized for maximum aesthetics (as can be achieved with the e-max) it is milled faster and requires no baking time. As such, it is best used in areas of the mouth where aesthetics are less important such as on the back molars.

While Lava Ultimate may not meet every need, it is nice to have an alternative to the additional 40 minutes required by e-max with very little compromise in strength. This material is available immediate now in our office.