CEREC is the most advanced chair side dental system in the world, with the ability to create beautiful restorations such as crowns, inlays, onlays and veneers on the same day. Traditionally, teeth are prepared by the dentist during the first appointment, then impressions are taken, sent to a dental laboratory and then two weeks later the restoration is fitted. This not only means two visits to the dentist, but also longer appointment times, impressions need to be taken and temporary crown/onlays need to be endured. With the huge advancement in CAD-CAM (computer aided design – computer aided manufacture) over the past decade the production, aesthetics and longevity of CEREC has become very predictable and efficient.

What is Cerec?

Cerec stands for Ceramic Reconstruction, essentially creating restorations such as onlays, inlays, crowns and veneers from a block of ceramic.

When can CEREC be used?

Cerec can be used to fabricate inlays, onlays, crowns and veneers. Generally cerecs are used for the back teeth to conservatively restore heavily broken down teeth. If you have more than half a tooth affected by decay, broken fillings or fractured teeth you will most likely need to restore the tooth with an onlay or crown. In these situations, Cerec is a perfect option to aesthetically, efficiently and conservatively restore the tooth. Have a look at some cases Dr Dev Patel has completed using Cerec.

What does CEREC involve?

The tooth to be restored is prepared by the dentist, and then a 3D intra-oral camera is used to scan the prepared tooth, adjacent teeth and opposing teeth. Then the dentist designs and shapes the restoration on the CEREC chair side computer. A block of ceramic is then placed in a milling machine, which is similar to a 3D printer and creates the same restoration the dentist has designed from the CEREC computer. In less than 10 minutes the restoration is milled, then the dentist checks the fit and bite with the restoration in place. Finally the dentist then applies natural looking stains and colours onto the restoration and then it is ready to be fired in an in-house furnace for around 15 minutes. Once the restoration has cooled, it is fitted and then the whole process is completed.