Step by Step All Ceramic Crown Preparation

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As a CEREC user we understand the importance of preparation to creating long lasting restorations.  A proper preparation makes marking the margin easier, makes design easier, and ensures enough reduction for material strength.

I wanted to take an opportunity to outline my step by step method of crown preparation.

Here is a photo of the basic burs that I use for a crown prep.  Essentially it’s 3 burs – occlusal depth reduction bur, coarse rough prep bur, and a fine diamond to finalize the prep.

Disposable crown prep burs
Disposable crown prep burs

Step 1.  Using the occlusal reduction bur cut grooves through the entire occlusal surface.  This will ensure a uniform minimum reduction.  I recommend the use of a 2.0mm depth reduction bur.

2.0mm depth cutting bur to reduce occlusal
2.0mm depth cutting bur to reduce occlusal

Step 2.  Using your thin coarse diamond go ahead and cut away the mesial and distal interproximal.  Take your time to avoid dinging the neighboring tooth.

interproximal walls removed
interproximal walls removed

Step 3.  Using the same thin coarse diamond go ahead and reduce the occlusal depth grooves.

reduce the occlusal grooves
reduce the occlusal grooves

Step 4.  Use the coarse diamond to make facial depth cuts.  This bur is 1.4mm in width and burying it a bit more than half way will ensure a 1.0mm axial reduction.  The rough prep is then completed.

facial depth cuts to ensure axial reduction
facial depth cuts to ensure axial reduction

Step 5.  Using the fine diamond go ahead and idealize your margin and smooth your preparation.  A smooth preparation leads to better milling and fit.  The fine diamond is an 856-021 which means the thickness is 2.1mm.  Using a thicker fine diamond allows me to get a 1.0mm chamfer margin.

preparation smooth and margin finalized with fine grit diamond
preparation smooth and margin finalized with fine grit diamond

An extra tip….  We utilize electric hand pieces in our office.  When finalizing our margin I go to 50% speed and I have full control over location and thickness of margin.

***  It is my preference to use disposable diamonds exclusively.  One, it ensures a sharp cutting instrument which will reduce chatter and heat generation.  Secondly, it is hygienic and clean.  Currently (as of August 2014) I am utilizing Microcopy disposable diamonds.

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