CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, and is a state of the art digital system which enables the dentist to provide porcelain crowns, partial crowns, inlays, onlays, veneers and anterior bridges at a single visit.
It is the most used CAD/CAM system worldwide with over 28 million restorations placed since it was first developed in 1984. Cerec has been through a number of developments, which have widened its applications and made the restorations more lifelike. Studies have shown a longterm success rate of 95%.
How are they made?
The teeth are prepared in the usual way before the Cerec acquisition unit, a sophisticated 3D camera, is used to take a number of pictures of the prepared tooth and its neighbours. You can now sit back and relax while your dentist designs the restoration on the computer. The design is then transmitted to a milling machine which cuts the new restoration out of a solid block of ceramic. It is then finished, polished, stained and glazed. As little as 45 minutes later the restoration can be ready to be cemented in place.
What are they like?
Cerec restorations are entirely ceramic which means that they are metal free, avoiding the risk of visible dark lines around the edges of crowns as gums recede. The ceramic also allows a greater transmission of light through the restoration making it look more natural. The strength of the ceramic allows it to be used in thin section allowing the dentist to be more conservative, removing less tooth tissue.
Are all teeth suitable?
Most teeth are suitable, but there are certain situations where it is not the ideal option such as where there is insufficient space for the camera, the edges of the tooth cannot be accurately scanned or all ceramic is not ideal.
What are the advantages?
Natural, lifelike restorations are achieved at a single visit. They remove the need for messy impressions, plastic temporary crowns/veneers/bridges and a return visit for fitting.