One of the latest dental technology tools to appear on the dentistry scene is CEREC®. The CEREC machine is a special computer that acts as a dental restoration tool, allowing your dentist to restore decayed teeth, place dental crowns, remove defective amalgam dental fillings, or place porcelain dental veneers in just one appointment.
The CEREC Procedure
The beauty of a CEREC restoration is just that — its beauty. Unlike unsightly silver dental fillings, CEREC fillings or restorations are made of tooth-colored ceramic (porcelain) so they look natural. A CEREC procedure requires less time, less drilling and fewer injections, too. It might sound too good to be true, but if you doubt that such good-looking restorations can be made in your dentist’s office in just three easy steps, CEREC will put some optimism back into those doubts.
Here’s how a typical CEREC procedure goes:
Exam and Preparation — Your dentist examines your teeth, decides on the preparation method and starts prepping your teeth (removing the tooth decay).
Optical Impression — An optical impression (picture) of the prepared tooth is taken.
Restoration Creation — Your dentist uses the CEREC machine to design and create your tooth filling, dental crown or veneers, right in the office!
The CEREC 3D system is comprised of a CEREC Acquisition Unit, CEREC 3D software and a CEREC Milling Unit. The Acquisition Unit houses a medical-grade computer and CEREC camera; this unit takes a picture of your prepared tooth and creates a 3D model of it, which your dentist uses to design the restoration on screen.
The Milling Unit creates the porcelain dental filling, dental crown or dental veneer. During dental treatment, your dentist chooses a block of ceramic that resembles your natural tooth color and then places that ceramic block into the milling unit. The milling unit creates the restoration based on the design you just made on the Acquisition Unit, eliminating the need to take messy impressions or send work out to a lab. In just one dental visit, your tooth filling, dental crown or dental veneers will be complete and your dentist will bond it into place.
Keep in mind that not every dentist uses CEREC dental technology — yet. CEREC is catching on though — over 4,000 dentists in the U.S. and Canada use CEREC and over seven million restorations have been placed worldwide.
Is CEREC an Acronym?
Like CEREC, the acronym is a tool that makes it easier to pronounce complex scientific and technological terms. Such is the case with CEREC, which is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic.