CEREC (or Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) technology is a fairly recent advance in dental restorations. The CEREC system creates a 3D map of your teeth through the use of advanced imaging systems. Using this map, a wide range of dental restorations such as inlays, veneers or crowns can be custom made to your specifications. The main benefit of CEREC technology is that all the equipment is usually housed on-site. This means that from the imaging process right the way through to the creation and fitting of the ceramic restorations can normally be done in one sitting.
CEREC dentistry uses state of the art computer mapping to create a complex 3D map of your mouth, paying particular attention to any problem teeth. It’s normal for some of your teeth to be coated in white powder during the imaging process as this will help create a clear and accurate picture of your teeth.
Unlike conventional methods, no moulds will need to be taken of your tooth. Instead, the 3D image is used in the design and creation stages of your new veneer. Once the design process has finished, your dentist will use his on-site CEREC machine to create the new restoration from a ceramic block. How long the manufacturing takes largely depends on what type of machine is being used and how complex the work required is but tends to take under 30 minutes.
Once your new restoration is ready, it’s then glazed and polished and your dentist will be ready to fit it. Your teeth are prepared in exactly the same way they’d be for normal restorations before the CEREC restoration is fixed into place using specialised dental cement.
The CEREC procedure is a lot quicker than conventional methods of placing restorations and due to the accuracy of the digital image, more of your natural tooth structure can be preserved. As the process will be completed in one sitting, there’s no need to wear a temporary veneer or crown and the high quality ceramics ensure that your restoration is resistant to damage or cracking. As your restoration is created to your exact specifications you can be sure you’ll get a comfortable fit as well as great aesthetics.
Drawbacks of CEREC
Although the vast majority of patients are suitable for CEREC restorations, in some cases medical conditions and other circumstances will make some patients ineligible for CEREC treatment. You should have a detailed discussion about treatment options with your dentist before undergoing any dental procedures.