CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) was designed by German scientists over 20 years ago, and the technology has become more and more advanced over the last decade. Dr. Cheek has been watching this technology develop into a system that she now feels produces restorations of precise fit and esthetics and she is excited to offer these one visit crowns in our office. The steps involved start out similar to any crown, veneer, or onlay procedure. The dentist first prepares the tooth but then, using an intraoral scanner instead of impression material, takes images of the prepared tooth. Utilizing CAD/CAM technology, the dentist or assistant will design the crown on the computer. The completed image is transferred to a 3-D milling unit, which fabricates the final restoration.
What does this mean for our patients? In the past, if a patient needed a crown, it would take two appointments. Dr. Cheek would prepare the tooth and take multiple impressions to send to a lab. While the lab was fabricating the crown, a patient would need to wear a temporary and come back for another appointment to have the permanent crown placed. CEREC eliminates the temporary, impressions, and the need for a second visit. It also allows Dr. Cheek to design the shape of the restoration and custom match the shade using stains and glazes to get a perfect match to the surrounding teeth!