CEREC (Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic) is a new state-of-the-art method of fabricating dental restorations. The restorations are designed and created using CAD/CAM (Computer-Assisted Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing) technology and offers patients the convenience of single visit ceramic restorations for crowns, onlays and veneers. Generally ceramic restorations are lab-made which requires two visits and a waiting period of 10-14 days between the appointments, during which the tooth is covered by a temporary material. However, CEREC restorations are made in house by the clinician and bonded to the tooth on the same day, therefore eliminating the waiting period required for these tooth-coloured restorations. These conservative restorations are natural-looking and tooth coloured and can help restore aesthetics, function and strength to the tooth.
- Comprehensive oral examination by the dentist
Patients are encouraged to first see their dentist for a comprehensive check-up, after which a treatment plan specifically tailored to your dental needs is formulated. If the CEREC restoration is suitable and appropriate for your tooth, your dentist will discuss the process with you in detail.
- Removal of any decay or defective restorations and shaping the tooth to ideal form
As previously mentioned not every tooth is a candidate for a CEREC restoration as there are many factors to consider, including: the amount of healthy tooth structure remaining, presence of any underlying fractures, presence of any unsatisfactory fillings, the alignment of the teeth and the bite of the patient. In order to prepare the tooth for a CEREC restoration any decay or unsatisfactory defective fillings need to be removed and the tooth is shaped to the ideal form as required by the CEREC software.
- Taking a 3D impression of the tooth and the bite using a digital scanner
- Designing and adjusting the CEREC restoration on the available software
The CAD/CAM technology allows us to design a custom-made CEREC restoration by making a three dimensional virtual model of your teeth from the digital scan. The restoration is designed for your tooth based on the shape and position of the adjacent teeth, the opposing teeth and the way that your top and bottom teeth make contact with one another.
- The CEREC restoration is then milled from a ceramic block within a few minutes.
The restoration design is virtually sent to the milling unit which 3D prints the restoration from a ceramic block within a few minutes.
- The restoration is now ready to be bonded to your tooth.
CEREC restorations are much stronger than traditional fillings and they also provide protection to the tooth and the remaining tooth structure. Moreover, their longevity is greater than other filling materials, however it’s important to note that not every tooth is suitable for a CEREC restoration and in some cases composite resin filling materials or lab-made crowns made be recommended by your dentist as per their clinical expertise and the circumstances of your tooth.