The CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) system allows a dentist to design, create and fit a new crown, veneer or inlay in a single visit. Using conventional procedures, this process can take up to three weeks to complete.
The multi-instrument CEREC system consists of an infrared digital camera, a computer with 3-D imaging software, and a milling unit with diamond blades for quick, precise and highly detailed construction of restorations.
How CEREC Technology Works
The dentist prepares the affected tooth before fitting it for a restoration. Instead of using dental putty to take an impression of the tooth, a digital picture is taken using the CEREC camera. With computer-aided design and manufacturing technology, the CEREC software converts the digital picture into a 3-D virtual model of the prepared tooth. This image is then used as a guide in designing the new restoration.
Once the dentist is satisfied with the virtual tooth, the data is sent to the on-site CEREC milling unit. The new tooth is then fabricated from a block of high-quality ceramic, which comes in a wide variety of colors and shades to ensure that the restoration matches the surrounding teeth. Processing usually takes less than 20 minutes.
After the milling is finished, the dentist polishes the filling or crown, and bonds it into place in the patient's mouth.
Advantages of the CEREC System
When compared to traditional restoration, CEREC restoration has several advantages.
Single-Appointment Dental Care
With the CEREC system, the patient needs to visit the dentist only once, instead of the usual two or three times required with conventional restoration procedures. The patient is able to leave the dentist's office fitted with the final product.
Complete Control by the Dentist
Because the restoration is designed and fabricated from start to finish by the dentist, a single person has complete control over how the restoration will look and fit. By contrast, a crown made in a laboratory is partially under the control of a technician unfamiliar with the patient.
No Need for Temporary Restorations
Conventional restoration procedures require that the patient wear temporary restorations while the laboratory prepares the final product. Temporary restorations may fit imprecisely or even fall off. The CEREC system eliminates this issue.
Made from Strong Ceramic
The CEREC system uses strong, tooth-colored ceramic to restore teeth to their natural strength, beauty and function. Not only does a CEREC restoration match the look of the rest of the teeth, the material used closely matches the composition of the natural teeth, allowing the patient to eat hot and cold foods without worrying that the restoration will crack from extreme temperatures.
The CEREC system significantly streamlines the dental-restoration process for both dentist and patient.
- Medline Plus
- National Institutes of Health
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- U.S. National Library of Medicine