What is CEREC®?
CEREC® is a new state-of-the-art method of constructing tooth restorations. CEREC® uses computer-assisted design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to offer single-day restorations for patients. This new technology has revolutionized ceramic restorations so that there is no longer a wait between preparing the restoration and receiving the finished product.
With CEREC® technology, the intraoral imaging, computer-aided design, and milling of the crown is provided chairside in a single visit. The ceramic restorations are metal-free and tooth colored, restoring the tooth to its natural beauty, strength and function. With CEREC®’s CAD-CAM technology, Dr. Ray is able to provide ceramic restorations for fillings or crowns in a single visit.
Watch the CEREC video below to learn more.
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The CEREC® Process
CEREC® uses CAD-CAM technology to design and mill custom restorations during one visit to the dentist. So how does this process work?
Exam and Preparation
Initially, Dr. Ray studies a digital xray of the tooth in question. She then examines the health of the surrounding and opposing teeth and observes how the teeth glide together. At this point it is determined if a smaller, conservative filling is sufficient or if the tooth requires a full crown to provide form, function, strength and aesthetics.
- After reviewing the options, an appointment is arranged. The process begins by reviewing the steps of treatment with the patient, administering anesthetic and preparing the tooth for the restoration.
In order to make the desired restoration, a 3-dimensional image is created from a digital camera scan of the tooth. This three-dimensional image will be used to create the restoration. The computer and CEREC® 3D software then converts the digital image into a three-dimensional virtual model of the prepared tooth.
Dr. Ray uses the Sirona milling unit to create the custom restoration in her office. Based on the original color of the tooth, she selects the appropriate ceramic block, and in a short time, the milling device creates the restoration. For approximately 1/2 hour, the patient is made comfortable in the reception area and offered a nutritious snack. Most patients enjoy this reprieve reading, resting or communicating with family, friends or work using the office WiFi connection.
Placing the Restoration
After milling the restoration, the crown is checked to ensure proper fit and bite. The ceramic crown is then polished and bonded into place. Therefore, no temporary restoration is needed and no return trip is necessary, saving the expense of time away from employment.
Advantages to Using CEREC®
CEREC® has revolutionized the restorative process. It was created with the patient in mind in order to make a visit to the dentist as comfortable as possible. Benefits of using CEREC® technology are listed below
- Eliminates the use of gooey impression material inside the mouth
- Eliminates temporary restorations for in-between visits
- Restores teeth to natural beauty, function and strength
- Provides a metal-free restoration
- Promotes a conservative tooth preparation, saving as much natural tooth structure as possible
- Allows a completed service in one visit using state-of-the art technology