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CEREC® Dentistry

CEREC smile design softwareIn the last few decades, there have been significant modern advancements in the field of cosmetic dentistry. The CEREC dental system is one of these modern advances. This article will cover what CEREC is, it’s different applications, and how it can benefit patients.

The CEREC dental system consists of two parts: the acquisition and milling units. The acquisition unit is where the hardware, software, and image capturing camera reside. The milling unit is a CAD/CAM machine. A CEREC dentist is one whom has received specialized training in this area and is qualified to deliver this high level of care to their patients.

The following is just one example of how CEREC dentistry works:

Our patient has cracked a molar and needs to have the tooth crowned, and the CEREC system has different modes to fabricate dental restorations. The one that we most commonly use is the correlation design mode. Before any work is done on the fractured molar, the dentist will take a quick impression and make a model of the broken tooth. The model is then repaired to represent what the tooth should look like prior to fracturing.

Next, the CEREC dentist will work on the tooth. He or she will use a dental handpiece to remove any old filling material from the molar, clean out any decay that may be present, and shape the tooth. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist will use a special camera to take pictures of the tooth and the repaired model. These images are essentially a digital impression.

After taking pictures, the dentist will use a software program to design the CEREC crown. Once the design has been completed, it will be sent to the milling unit. The milling unit will use diamond burs to cut the crown out of a block of porcelain. The milling process usually takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to complete. Then, the dentist will try in the CEREC crown into the patient’s mouth, making sure that it fits well. Any necessary adjustments will be made. The porcelain crown is polished or glazed and then bonded to the tooth. Once the crown is in place, any extra bonding agent is removed, the bite is adjusted, and some final polishing is completed.

The above example is just one application of the CEREC dental system. In reality, there are numerous other ones. The system can be used to fabricate inlays, onlays, and veneers as well.

CEREC dentistry offers many benefits to a patient. Specifically, less time spent at the dentist office, lower cost, and extremely high-quality restorations. It allows me to provide a restoration that is highly cosmetic, well-fitting, and durable in a single painless appointment. We have had nothing but positive feedback about CEREC from our patients since its introduction.