Cerec (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction) is a method of CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) dentistry developed in 1980 for creating dental restorations. Using CAD/CAM, this process allows dentists to construct, produce, and insert individual ceramic restorations directly at the point of treatment (chairside) in a single visit, rather than over multiple appointments with labside work in between.
CEREC® uses CAD-CAM technology to design and manufacture custom restorations during one visit to the dentist. How does this process work?
Exam and Preparation
Before you get started, your dentist will determine if CEREC® is right for you. Depending on how much healthy tooth structure you have, it may be a simple filling or you may need a crown. After reviewing your options, the dentist will begin the process by preparing your tooth for restoration by removing decay and weakened tooth tissue.
In order to make the desired restoration, a 3-D image of the tooth that needs to be restored must be created from a digital camera scan of the tooth. This 3-D image will be used to generate the restoration without the need to take a messy impression. This means no horrible tasting impression material for you to gag on. The computer then converts the digital image into a 3-D virtual model of the prepared tooth.
This device is used to create the custom restoration needed for the tooth. Based on the original color of your tooth, the dentist is able to select the correct colored ceramic block and in a few minutes, the milling device is able to create the restoration needed.
Placing the Restoration
After the restoration is made, it is ready to be tried on to ensure that you get proper fit and bite. When it is ready, the restoration is polished and bonded into place by your dentist. Therefore, no temporary restoration is needed and no more visits are necessary, saving your time and money.
CEREC® has revolutionized the restorative process. Some of the benefits are:
Most procedures can be done in one visit - saving time and money
Less painful injections due to single-visit
No need to take messy impressions
No need to have a temporary restoration for in-between visits
Ability to save as much natural tooth structure as possible
Longer lasting restorations - may last over 10 years
Restores teeth to natural beauty, function and strength
How does CEREC® restoration look? What color is it?
CEREC® A tooth-colored restoration means no more metal-looking fillings discoloring smiles. This restoration is natural-looking, compatible with tissue in the mouth, anti-abrasive and plaque-resistant.
What is CEREC® made of?
Material of Choice varies based on your existing oral condition and your Dentist's preferences. The choices are EmpressCAD®, VitaCAD®, LAVA Ultimate®, etc. Basically, they can be made of ultra high strength dental ceramic, dental composite, or a composite mixture of dental composite and zirconia fillaments. In other words , your dentist has the flexibility in selecting the best material for you.
How long is the process?
The process generally takes one hour or less. During your first visit, your dentist may require additional time in preparing your tooth. Furthermore your tooth may require root canal therapy, post and core, etc, which will increase the duration of your visit. The actual CEREC process usually begins after your dentist has completely prepared your tooth. Once the pictures are taken, in general, we can fabricate your final restoration within one hour minutes.
Do I need a root canal therapy before a crown?
Your dentist should be able to assess the condition of your tooth before your treatment of a crown.