Our Ann Arbor dentists embrace exciting technical advances that improve the patient experience — such as eliminating the need for x-rays and long waits for impressions through the use of CEREC® technology.
What is CEREC®?
Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic or CEREC® for short is a new state-of-the-art method of reconstructing tooth restorations. CEREC® uses computer-assisted design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to offer single-day restorations for patients. This new technology has revolutionized ceramic restorations such as crowns and veneers for patients so that there is no longer a wait between preparing the restoration and finally receiving the finished product. With CEREC®, the technology is used while you are sitting in the dental chair, which is both economical for you and your dentist. The restorations created are metal-free and tooth colored to restore your tooth to its natural beauty, strength and function. With CEREC®’s CAD-CAM technology, these ceramic restorations can all be done in one single visit to the dentist.
The CEREC® Process
CEREC® uses CAD-CAM technology to design and mill custom restorations during one visit to the dentist. So how does this process work?
- Exam and Preparation
- Optical Impression
- Milling Unit
- Placing the Restoration
Before you get started, your dentist will determine if CEREC® is right for you. Depending on how much healthy tooth structure you have remaining, it may be a simple filling or you may need a crown. After reviewing your options, the dentist will begin the process by administering anesthetic and preparing your tooth for restoration by removing decay and weakened tooth tissue.
In order to make the desired restoration, a 3-dimensional image of the tooth that needs to be restored must be created from a digital camera scan of the tooth. This three-dimensional image will be used to create the restoration without the need to take a messy impression. This means no horrible tasting impression material for you to gag on. The computer and CEREC® 3D software then converts the digital image into a three-dimensional virtual model of the prepared tooth.
This device is used to 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.
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 return trip is necessary, saving you time and money.
Advantages to Using CEREC®
CEREC® has revolutionized the restorative process. It was created with the patient in mind in order to make a visit to the dentist as pain-free as possible. Some of the benefits to using CEREC® are:
- Most procedures can be done in one visit - less costly and less time-consuming
- 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
- Metal-free restorations