The CEREC Procedure
Let’s face it, very few of us have perfect teeth, free of decay and fillings. You can probably see a filling or two in your own mouth, which do just that — “fill” a cavity, or hole, in your tooth left from the excavation of decayed tooth structure. In many cases, those fillings are made of metal material and can go bad, weaken the tooth, or get additional decay under or around it. In fact, 1.2 billion of these metal fillings will need to be replaced in the next 10 years. CEREC is a method used by thousands of dentists worldwide since 1987 not only to replace these fillings, but also to restore any tooth that is decayed, weakened, broken, etc. to its natural strength and beauty. Better yet, it’s done with all-ceramic materials that are tooth-colored in a single appointment!
What is CEREC? CEREC is an acronym…
- Chairside: The technology is in the dental operatory and used while you are in the chair
- Economical: The procedure is economical for both dentist and patient
- Restorations: The procedure restores your tooth to its natural beauty, function, and strength
- Esthetic: The restorations are metal-free and tooth-colored
- Ceramic: High-strength ceramics are used that are close in composition to your natural tooth structure.
CEREC is an advanced dental restorative system that allows us to restore decayed teeth, place crowns, remove defective amalgam fillings, or place cosmetic veneers in just one appointment. This allows you to have the highest quality, most lifelike dental restorations in just one visit to the dentist…in, out, and on with your busy life.
What can I expect at my CEREC appointment?
There are several steps to the CEREC crown process, all done in a single day. First, we remove the damaged filling and any tooth decay. We shave down the sides and top of the tooth to prepare it for the crown. Using CEREC Primescan 3D scanning, we take images of the area, using the data to create a mockup of your crown. We send this to the milling station, which makes your crown using the images and specifications indicated. The finished crown is put in place and tested before being permanently cemented onto your tooth. For your comfort, we use a local anesthetic to numb the area.
CEREC Acquisition Unit
The CEREC Acquisition Unit is mobile and houses a medical grade computer and the CEREC camera. Using our CEREC Primescan Intraoral Scanner, we take a digital picture of your prepared tooth. This picture is used instead of a traditional impression. This means no impression tray and material for you to gag on. The computer and CEREC 3D software converts the digital picture to a three-dimensional virtual model of your prepped tooth. We then design your restoration right on screen using the software while you wait (and watch!). This software can assist us with designing any single tooth restoration: crowns, inlays (fillings), onlays (partial crowns), and teeth veneers. Once we have designed your restoration (usually about 5 minutes), we click a button, and the design data is communicated via a wireless radio signal to the CEREC Milling Unit.
CEREC Milling Unit
Your dentist or dental assistant selects a ceramic block that matches the shade of the tooth being repaired. He or she then inserts the block into the Milling Unit. The data from the Acquisition Unit is used to direct two diamond-coated burs to carve the block into the indicated shape of the restoration. This process usually takes 8 to 18 minutes depending on the size and type of restoration. After the milling is finished, your dentist polishes the finished filling or crown and bonds it into place.
CEREC® is a registered trademark of Densply Sirona Dental Systems