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. In many cases, those fillings, either metal or resin,  can go bad, debond, weaken the tooth, or get additional decay under or around them. In fact, 1.2 billion metal fillings will need to be replaced in the next 10 years. CEREC is a method used by thousands of dentists worldwide since 1987 not only to replace these 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!

What is CEREC? CEREC is an acronym: 

CEREC is an advanced dental restorative system that allows your dentist to restore decayed or broken teeth with porcelain restorations in just one appointment.  This allows you to have high quality, natural looking dental restorations in just one visit to the dentist…in, out, and on with your busy life.

CEREC Acquisition Unit

The mobile CEREC Acquisition Unit houses a medical grade computer and the CEREC camera. Your dentist uses the camera to take a digital picture or scan of the tooth or teeth to be restored.  This picture is used instead of a traditional impression.  (This means no gooey impression tray!)  The computer and CEREC 3D software converts the digital picture to a three-dimensional virtual model of your teeth.  After the tooth is clinically prepared and scanned, the restoration is then designed right on screen using the software while you wait (and watch!).  This software can assist your dentist with designing any single tooth restoration: crownsinlays (fillings), and onlays (partial crowns). Once your dentist has designed your restoration (usually about 5 minutes), the design data is communicated via a wireless radio signal to the CEREC Milling Unit.

CEREC Milling Unit

Your dentist or dental assistant selects a ceramic block that matches the shade of the tooth being restored.  The data from the Acquisition Unit is used to direct two diamond-coated burs in the milling unit to carve the block into the custom shape of the restoration.   After the milling is finished, the restoration is placed in an oven to glaze and finish the porcelain.  Your dentist will then polish the finished restoration or crown and bond it into place.  You will leave your appointment with your permanent crown, with no impressions or temporaries!

CEREC® is a registered trademark of Sirona Dental Systems