At this time of year most people’s thoughts turn to eating and socializing. The socializing part might be hampered a bit by COVID-19 restrictions, however, eating will always stay in style.

But, it is hard to eat when there are not enough teeth to chew with or there is dental pain.

If either of these situations exist, it might be hard to find the care needed to remedy the problem because most dental offices will have limited holiday hours. It might not be too late if action is taken now.

However, it might already be too late in the holiday season for permanent solutions that require a dental lab. The remedy might have to be something temporary to get you through.

Fortunately, for broken or chipped teeth there is Cerec. This is a device that allows for the manufacture of a permanent crown(s) or veneer(s) in one visit. The way it works is digital. Instead of messy, gagging impressions, an optical impression is made of the selected teeth.

From this optical impression, a full or partial all-porcelain permanent crown can be made in one visit. This usually takes about one hour.

This alleviates the need for temporaries. The problem with temporaries is that they tend to come off, or chip – and it seems to happen most on the holidays or weekends, when most dental offices are closed.

This is probably one of the most miraculous technological advances of our time. The materials keep improving in strength and beauty, giving a very natural appearance. Patients are much busier than their predecessors and do not have time to go through the old way of two appointments with a temporary crown in between.

Lastly, Cerec crowns are adhesively bonded to the underlying tooth, not “cemented.” This makes it more unlikely to leak or come off over time.

Hopefully, you will not be needing this. But it is nice to know that this technology is available if needed.

James G. Jenkins, D.M.D. is the owner of Bluffton Dental Care in Bluffton.