CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) is a revolutionary system that allows your dentist to design, create and fit a new crown, veneer, onlay or inlay in a single visit. This procedure would normally take up to three weeks.
The multi-instrument CEREC system consists of an infrared digital camera, a computer with 3-D imaging software, and a milling unit with diamond blades for quick, precise, and highly detailed construction of restorations.
How CEREC Technology Works
Dr. Markoff will prepare your tooth in the normal fashion before fitting a crown or a veneer. At this point, instead of using dental putty to take an impression of your tooth, he will take a digital picture using the CEREC camera. Using CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) technology, the CEREC software converts this picture to a 3-D virtual model of your prepared tooth. This image is used as a guide to design your new restoration.
Once Dr. Markoff is happy with the virtual tooth, the data is sent to an on-site CEREC milling unit, which fabricates your new tooth from a high-quality ceramic block. These blocks come in a wide variety of shades and colors and are selected to match your surrounding teeth. The process usually takes 45 to 90 minutes depending on the type of ceramic used. After the milling is finished, Dr. Markoff will polish the filling or crown and bond it into place in your mouth.
The Benefits of CEREC
There are several advantages to CEREC restorations over conventional laboratory-made restorations:
- Single-Appointment Dental Care With CEREC, you only need to visit the dentist’s office once, instead of the usual two or three visits required with conventional restoration procedures.
- Complete Control by Your Dentist Since the restoration is designed and fabricated from start to finish by Dr. Markoff, he has complete control over how it will look and fit. By contrast, a crown made in a laboratory is under the control of a technician who has never seen the patient.
- No Temporary Restorations Conventional restoration procedures require you to wear temporary restorations while the laboratory makes your new restoration. Temporary restorations can fall off or cause other problems. CEREC eliminates this inconvenience.
- Fine Materials CEREC uses strong, tooth-colored ceramic materials to restore your teeth to their natural strength, beauty, and function. Not only do they look like the rest of your teeth, these materials closely match the composition of your natural tooth structure, allowing you to eat hot and cold foods without worrying about your tooth cracking from the extreme temperatures.
How long does the CEREC procedure take?
The entire CEREC procedure is done in only one short visit. Dr. Markoff will administer a local anesthetic and prepare your tooth for the restoration, removing decayed and weakened tooth tissue. Next is the optical impression: a 3-D image is taken of your tooth and used to design the restoration. This takes no more than 5 minutes. After this is complete, the tooth is milled, which takes 45 to 90 minutes depending on the type of ceramic used. Finally, the tooth is bonded to your mouth. You can expect the entire procedure to take as little as 30 minutes.
Why is CEREC better than conventional restoration procedures?
Restorations with CEREC require only one visit to your dentist, as opposed to the several visits that other restoration procedures require. CEREC also allows your dentist to have complete control over the process from start to finish. Further, CEREC eliminates the need to wear temporary restorations, which may fall off or cause other problems.
How should I take care of my new ceramic tooth?
CEREC restorations do not require any kind of special care. You should, however, always remember to practice proper oral hygiene. This will increase the health and longevity of the restoration and of your other teeth.
Will CEREC restorations respond well to extreme temperatures?
CEREC restorations are made of high-quality ceramics that withstand extreme temperatures. If the restored tooth still has a nerve in it, you may experience increased sensitivity immediately after the procedure. The sensitivity will often decrease with time.
Is a CEREC crown better than a gold crown?
CEREC crowns are made entirely of ceramic, giving a more natural look than gold crowns. However, they are not as strong as gold crowns and are more likely to chip. Ceramic crowns are still very durable; we only use a very high quality of ceramics. Dr. Markoff will help you decide which is best for you, depending in part on whether you want a more natural look or a stronger tooth.
What can I eat after a CEREC restoration?
You may experience some increased sensitivity the day of your procedure. In this case you may be more comfortable staying away from hot or cold food or drinks. The sensation should soon return to normal. Otherwise, you can enjoy all the foods you used to eat before the operation.