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CEREC

 

What is CEREC?

 

CEREC (CEramic REConstruction) is a computer aided design system which allows your dentist to make a ceramic restoration such as a dental crown, dental veneer, inlay or onlay during a single patient visit and under their complete control. For more information about restorations see The Good Dentist Guides to Dental Crowns, Dental Veneers and Dental Fillings.
 
 
The CEREC system was originally developed in 1985 at the University of Zurich, in Switzerland, by dentist Dr. Werner H. Moermann and electrical engineer Dr. Markus Brandistini. The system has been continually improved over the years and is now version six with the latest technology and software.
 
CEREC is used worldwide in sixty countries and 20 million restorations have been made for patients.
 

 

 

How does CEREC work?

The examination and preparation of your tooth is exactly the same as it would be if your restoration was to be made by a dental laboratory.  Your dentist will examine the tooth and determine the appropriate treatment; then, under local anaesthetic if necessary, prepare your tooth for the restoration, removing decayed and weakened tooth tissue.

 

Instead of taking an impression of your tooth or teeth to send away to a dental laboratory, however, an ‘optical impression’ or scan of the prepared tooth is taken: your dentist coats the tooth with a non-toxic, tasteless powder which reduces reflections and increases contrast; and a special camera is then used to take a three-dimensional digital picture of your tooth. This whole optical impression process takes only a few minutes.

 

The picture is uploaded from the camera to the computerised design unit where the shape of your restoration is designed by the software to fit exactly. The design is converted into precise instructions for the milling unit, where a small block of ceramic material of the appropriate colour and shade is then sculpted into the required shape in about nine minutes.

 

Finally your dentist will try the restoration in your mouth to ensure proper fit and bite. The restoration is then polished or glazed and bonded to the prepared tooth. Your tooth is restored with no "temporary" or return trip necessary, all done in a single appointment.

 

Dentists using the CEREC system are trained to a high level by world CEREC master Dr Simon Smyth at the Dental Training Institute in Chertsey.  Continuing professional development in CEREC is provided at the DTI and dentists who completely master all aspects of the technology are awarded an accreditation.

 

 

What restorations can be produced using CEREC?

CEREC is capable of producing any single tooth restoration: not only dental crowns and dental fillings but also cosmetic dental veneers. For more information about restorations see  The Good Dentist Guides to Dental Crowns, Dental Veneers and Dental Fillings.
 

 

What are the advantages of  CEREC ?

 

When compared with having restorations made by a dental laboratory, the CEREC system has several advantages:
  • You only need to take time or find time to make one visit to your dentist, as compared with two or three visits with conventional preparation and making of the restoration
  • As the entire procedure takes about an hour per tooth, you will only need one set of local anaesthetic injections 
  • As there is no lengthy wait between visits, temporary restorations (which can fall off and cause problems) are not needed
  • The CEREC CAD/CAM is more accurate than making a restoration from conventional impressions and the dentist can quickly make a second one if necessary
 
The ceramic materials used closely match the composition of natural tooth structure, so the response of the restoration and of your natural tooth to hot or cold foods, for example, will be very similar and sensitivity will be minimised.  Plus the materials are chemically bonded to the tooth resulting in the tooth being strengthened. 
 
 
Your dentist is in complete control of the final result - since the restoration is designed and made from start to finish by your dentist, he or she has total control over how it will look and fit, whereas one made in a laboratory is under the control of a technician who often hasn't even seen the patient.
 

 

How much does CEREC cost?

There is often very little difference in price between restorations made with CEREC technology and those made by a dental laboratory, because you only need one appointment with your dentist and there are no laboratory fees to incorporate into the price of your treatment. Fees for a CEREC restoration can vary from £300 to £800.

 

 
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