The future of cosmetic dentistry has finally arrived in the shape of new technology from Cerec. Also commonly known as ‘chair-side restoration’, Cerec has revolutionised the way dentists are able to manufacture and fit ceramic restorations such as dental crowns, porcelain veneers and inlays for fillings.
CEREC is a state-of-the-art dental restoration product that has allowed dentists to use computer-aided technology to produce ceramic inlays and crowns. Utilising new technologies such as 3D imaging, digital x-rays and CAD/CAM, CEREC has allowed teeth restorations to be carried out in only a single visit to a dentist rather than taking several appointments.
Cerec technology allows the dentist to take several digital x-rays, which can produce three-dimensional images almost instantaneously on a computer screen. This allows the dentist to create a perfectly fitting crown or veneer on the computer. Then comes the really incredible bit, when the dentist sends this information to a computer-guided mill, which can sculpt a new crown or veneer from a single piece of porcelain in a mater of minutes. All of this can be achieved in little more than an hour per tooth for a crown and significantly less for veneers. Combined with the use of resin bonding, it is possible for a patient to have a crown designed, manufactured and installed in a single appointment .
This new technology has several distinct advantages. First and foremost is the time and effort saved by both patient and dentist as fewer appointments and less manufacturing is needed to fit the restoration. CEREC technology also limits the need for enamel removal because of the increased degrees of accuracy involved using computer-guided technology. Also, because the crown or inlay can be milled from a single piece of porcelain it preserves a greater degree of strength than layered or pressed ceramics. The ability to store any design and manufacturing information on a computer means that any subsequent alterations or replacements can be easily manufactured without further imaging.Compared to the old methods of crown dentistry, Cerec represents a huge leap forward and expect to see this technology in all dentist surgeries in the near future.