The CEREC Procedure
The Alpharetta Smile Center has used the CEREC system since 2013 and we are very experienced with all aspects of the technology. We are extremely excited to offer this revolutionary technology to our patients!
When a tooth has broken or decayed to an extent that a filling is not strong enough to repair the damage or replace the missing portions, crowns and onlays are used for a long-lasting solution. Typically, that means two visits to the dentist, and wearing a temporary crown for 2-4 weeks in-between. CEREC is a method used by thousands of dentists worldwide since 1987 to restore any tooth that is decayed, weakened, or broken to its natural strength and beauty with beautiful all-ceramic materials in a single appointment!
Exam and Preparation
First, Dr. Hill examines the tooth and determines the appropriate treatment. It could be a simple filling, or a full crown, depending on how much healthy tooth structure is remaining and the clinical judgment of your Dentist. Next, he administers an anesthetic and prepares your tooth for restoration, removing decayed and weakened tooth tissue. One of the great advantages of the CEREC technique is that we are able to preserve tooth structure wherever it is strong.
Now, the amazing part begins! Dr. Hill takes an Optical Impression of the prepared tooth, the teeth around it, and your bite. Instead of filling a tray with impression “goop” that you must bite into and hold in your mouth until it hardens, a special camera is used which seamlessly scans the surfaces of your teeth. A computer instantly processes this data and creates a 3D representation of your teeth on a screen.
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Next, the CEREC 3D software takes the digital picture and converts it into a 3-dimensional virtual model on the computer screen. Dr. Hill then uses his dental expertise to design the restoration using the CEREC 3D design program. Within a few minutes, your Dentist clicks a button, and the restoration design data is sent to a separate milling machine in the office. A ceramic block that matches your tooth shade is placed in the milling machine. About 12-30 minutes later (depending on the material you need), your all-ceramic, tooth-colored restoration is finished and ready to bond in place. Finally, your Dentist tries the restoration in your mouth to ensure proper fit, color, and bite. The restoration is then polished and bonded to the prepared tooth. Your tooth is restored with no “temporary” or return trip necessary. All of this is done in a single appointment! Ask us about CEREC today.
What is CEREC? CEREC is an acronym…
- Chair side: The technology is in the dental operatory and used while you are in the chair
- Economical: The procedure is economical for both dentist and patient
- Restorations: The procedure restores your tooth to its natural beauty, function, and strength
- Esthetic: The restorations are metal-free and tooth-colored
- Ceramic: High-strength ceramics are used that are close in composition to your natural tooth structure.
CEREC is an advanced dental restorative system that allows your dentist to restore badly decayed or broken teeth in just one appointment. This allows you to have the highest quality, most lifelike dental restorations in just one visit to the dentist…in, out, and on with your busy life.
CEREC Acquisition Unit
The CEREC Acquisition Unit is mobile and houses a medical grade computer and the CEREC camera. Your dentist uses the camera to take a digital scan of your prepared tooth. This scan is used instead of a traditional impression. This means no impression tray and material for you to gag on. The computer and CEREC 3D software converts the digital picture to a three-dimensional virtual model of your prepped tooth.
Your dentist then designs your restoration right on screen using the software while you wait (and watch!). This software can assist your dentist with designing any single tooth restoration: crowns, inlays (fillings), onlays (partial crowns), and in some cases veneers. Once your dentist has designed your restoration (usually about 5 minutes), he or she clicks a button, and 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 repaired. He or she then inserts the block into the Milling Unit. The data from the Acquisition Unit is used to direct two diamond-coated burs to carve the block into the indicated shape of the restoration. This process usually takes 8 to 18 minutes depending on the size and type of restoration. After the milling is finished, your dentist polishes the finished filling or crown and bonds it into place.
CEREC® is a registered trademark of Sirona Dental Systems
To further match the natural coloration of your teeth, your crown is stained artistically before it is fired in a furnace. The staining lets your new crown blend in with your natural teeth, and the glazing formed by the furnace produces a naturally smooth and protective layer over the ceramic.