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 are made of metal material and can go bad, weaken the tooth, or get additional decay. In fact, 1.2 billion of these 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. Better yet, it’s done in a single appointment with all-ceramic materials that are tooth-colored!
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 picture of your prepared tooth. This picture 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 teeth 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.
Often, patients with amalgam fillings will exhibit amalgam breakdowns and damage to the tooth structure as recurrent decay creates stress fractures on the enamel. Unlike most laboratory-created crowns, CEREC inlay restorations stabilize the integrity of the tooth. CEREC materials ensure maximum bond strength and enhance appearance, resulting in your desired smile. CEREC inlay restorations form a smooth, tooth-colored replacement of dental material lost to cavities. Using ultramodern CAD/CAM technology, CEREC inlays mimic your tooth’s color and structure exactly.
Silver amalgam restorations regularly result in unsightly crowns and the necessity of replacement over time from recurrent decay. Rather than replace the old amalgam, CEREC onlays are placed over the tooth to retain the original structure and create a more natural look. Onlays, or partial crowns, are more extensive than inlays, and cover the bumps on the tooth surface. The enamel-like material of CEREC mimics the appearance and feel of real teeth.
Patients who lose fillings often need replacement crowns, which can take up to three appointments to fill in. CEREC, however, mirrors the appearance and feel of a normal tooth but only requires one visit to install. Crowns, or tooth-shaped caps placed over teeth, restore the damaged tooth to its original shape, strength, size, or appearance. CEREC crowns preserve a healthy tooth structure while restoring your natural smile.
Teeth that have been repaired with compacted composite material often break down, resulting in chipped teeth. CEREC veneers correct the incisal length and angle, restoring the tooth to its original appearance in only one visit. Veneers, or thin laminates of tooth-colored porcelain, are bonded to the front of teeth, covering the front surface and resulting in an improved appearance. The veneers produced by CEREC are custom-designed for each tooth to provide an exact match.
In the past, patients with multiple failed restorations typically required several appointments to achieve a full restoration. With CEREC, however, multiple inlays and onlays can be fabricated, bonded, polished and installed at once. CEREC technology completes the multiple restorations in one visit, resulting in a beautiful smile in a fraction of the time.