CEREC Technology in Holyoke, MA
The CEREC Procedure
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 under or around it. 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. to its natural strength and beauty. Better yet, it’s done with all-ceramic materials that are tooth-colored in a single appointment!
Exam and Preparation for CEREC
First, Dr. Chen, , Dr. Chang, Dr. Lu, or Dr. Liu examines the tooth and determines the appropriate treatment. It could be a simple filling, or a full crown, depending on how much healthy tooth structure is remaining and the clinical judgment of your Drs. Chen, Chang, Lu, or Liu. Next, he or she administers an anesthetic and prepares your tooth for the restoration, removing decayed and weakened tooth tissue. This preparation is just like he or she would do for many other restorative techniques.
Then, your dentist takes an Optical Impression of the prepared tooth. Instead of filling a tray with impression "goop" that you must bite into and hold in your mouth until it hardens, your dentist coats the tooth with a non-toxic, tasteless powder. A camera is then used to take a digital picture of your tooth. This whole Optical Impression process takes only a minute or two.
Next, the CEREC machine helps Drs. Chen, Chang, Lu, or Liu create the restoration for your tooth. The CEREC 3D software takes the digital picture and converts it into a 3-dimensional virtual model on the computer screen. He or she then uses his or her dental expertise to design the restoration using the CEREC 3D computer program. Within a few minutes, Drs. Chen, Chang, Lu, or Liu clicks a button, and the restoration design data is sent to a separate milling machine in the office. A ceramic block that matches your tooth shade is placed in the milling machine. About 10 – 20 minutes later, your all-ceramic, tooth-colored restoration is finished and ready to bond in place. Finally, your dentist tries the restoration in your mouth to ensure proper fit and bite. The restoration is then polished and bonded to the prepared tooth. Your tooth is restored with no "temporary" or return trip necessary. All of this is done in a single appointment! Ask us about CEREC today.
What is CEREC? CEREC is an acronym…
- Chairside: The technology is in the dental operatory and used while you are in the chair
- Economical: The procedure is economical for both dentist and patient
- Restorations: The procedure restores your tooth to its natural beauty, function, and strength
- Esthetic: The restorations are metal-free and tooth-colored
- Ceramic: High-strength ceramics are used that are close in composition to your natural tooth structure.
CEREC is an advanced dental restorative system that allows your dentist to restore decayed teeth, place crowns, remove defective amalgam fillings, or place cosmetic veneers in just one appointment. This allows you to have the highest quality, most lifelike dental restorations in just one visit to the dentist…in, out, and on with your busy life.
CEREC Acquisition Unit
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.
CEREC Milling Unit
Your dentist or dental assistant selects a ceramic block that matches the shade of the tooth being repaired. He or she then inserts the block into the Milling Unit. The data from the Acquisition Unit is used to direct two diamond-coated burs to carve the block into the indicated shape of the restoration. This process usually takes 8 to 18 minutes depending on the size and type of restoration. After the milling is finished, your dentist polishes the finished filling or crown and bonds it into place.
CEREC Inlay Restoration
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.
CEREC Onlay Restorations
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 on 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 and 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.
CEREC® is a registered trademark of Sirona Dental Systems