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. CEREC is a method used by thousands of dentists worldwide since 1987 not only to replace failing 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!
Exam and Preparation for CEREC
First, your doctor examines the tooth and determines the appropriate treatment. It could be a simple filling, or a full crown, depending on how much healthy tooth structure is remaining and the clinical judgment of your doctor. Next, he or she administers an anesthetic and prepares your tooth for the restoration, removing decayed and weakened tooth structure. This preparation is just like he or she would do for many other restorative techniques.
Then, your dentist takes an Optical Impression of the prepared tooth. Instead of filling a tray with impression “goop” that you must bite into and hold in your mouth until it hardens, your dentist uses a camera to take a digital picture of your tooth. This whole Optical Impression process takes only a minute or two.
Next, the CEREC machine helps your doctor create the restoration for your tooth. The CEREC 3D software takes the digital picture and converts it into a 3-dimensional virtual model on the computer screen. He or she then uses his or her dental expertise to design the restoration using the CEREC 3D computer program. Within a few minutes, your doctor clicks a button, and the restoration design data is sent to a separate milling machine in the office. A ceramic block that matches your tooth shade is placed in the milling machine. About 30 minutes later, your all-ceramic, tooth-colored restoration is finished and ready to bond in place. Finally, your dentist tries the restoration in your mouth to ensure proper fit and bite. The restoration is then polished and bonded to the prepared tooth. Your tooth is restored with no “temporary” or return trip necessary. All of this is done in a single appointment! Call today to see if a CEREC crown is right for you!
CEREC is an advanced dental restorative system that allows your dentist to restore decayed teeth and place crowns 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.
CEREC Acquisition Unit
The CEREC Acquisition Unit is mobile and houses a medical grade computer and the CEREC camera. Your dentist uses the camera to 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. Your dentist then designs your restoration right on screen using the software while you wait (and watch!). This software can assist your dentist with designing any single tooth restoration: crowns, inlays (fillings), and onlays (partial crowns.) Once your dentist has designed your restoration (usually about 5 minutes), he or she clicks a button, and the design data is communicated via a wireless radio signal to the CEREC Milling Unit.
CEREC Milling Unit
Your dentist 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 will tryin the crown and then glaze it to perfection in a state of the art porcelain furnace. Finally, the crown will be bonded onto the tooth.
CEREC® is a registered trademark of Sirona Dental Systems