What Is CEREC?
CEREC is a chairside restoration CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/manufacturing) system. In other words, it’s a machine that combines computer software with a milling unit to design and create restorations in our dental office. In addition to dental crowns, CEREC can make many kinds of ceramic restorations, including dental bridges, tooth-colored fillings, and dental veneers.
To use this technology for restorations, Dr. Polley will first prepare your tooth or teeth for restoration. He then uses a digital laser scanner to take a 3D picture of your tooth as an impression. You don’t have to make an impression by biting into a tray of uncomfortable goo.
Dr. Polley then uploads the 3D picture of your tooth to the computer, where he will design your restoration. He custom-crafts the restoration to fit your tooth perfectly regarding size and shape. Dr. Polley will show you a block of colors to help you choose a color that best suits your smile. Often, we recommend teeth whitening first so your crown can match your teeth at their brightest.
Once your design is complete, it’s sent to the computer-controlled milling machine containing the correct colored block of ceramic material. The machine follows Dr. Polley’s precise design to create your new restoration. The machine creates your computer-aided restoration in anywhere from four to 20 minutes. Once it’s ready, Dr. Polley will check the fit and color. It might need extra finishing, including tweaking the color, firing, and polishing. That doesn’t take long, and you’ll have your crown within an hour or two.