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What is CEREC Dental Restoration?

Cerec is a CAD-CAM system (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) for making dental restorations that has been in development since 1980. The first dental restorations were placed in patients beginning in 1985, and literally millions have been placed since then. The current CEREC AC system, released January 2009, has a chairside computer for digital impressions and design of a restoration (a crown, onlay, veneer, or inlay), and a milling unit which carves out the restoration from a solid, perfect block of porcelain.

How CEREC Dental Restoration works

Let’s use an example. John broke the largest cusp from an upper molar. The tooth needs either a crown if it is cracked in other areas, or an onlay to just replace the missing cusp. But we determine that John’s tooth just needs an onlay, so the tooth is shaped for a porcelain onlay. This is where CEREC has its advantages. Instead of taking a regular impression that takes about 5 minutes, we just use a special camera that captures a detailed 3D image of the prepared tooth. Next, the porcelain onlay is designed on the chairside computer, and sent immediately to the milling machine. In 5-10 minutes, the milled porcelain onlay is ready to be checked for fit on the tooth. Finally, the porcelain is processed and glazed in a special oven, and then bonded onto the tooth. John walks out of the office with a fully restored tooth in the same visit!

Advantages of the CEREC Dental Restoration Process

Single-visit convenience. If you have ever had a crown, onlay, or anything else that is made in a dental lab, you know that the process takes two weeks, meaning that your tooth has a temporary filling for that time. The second appointment also means that there is another shot.

Even better than that, are all of the reasons it is such a great option for your tooth. First, your tooth is sealed immediately after it is prepared for the porcelain, eliminating leakage of bacteria and saliva, which often causes further damage and sensitivity. Second, more of the healthy tooth structure is preserved, meaning less trauma to the tooth. In fact, most crowns done with a CEREC dental restoration system do not need to have the tooth ground all of the way down to the gum line, but only need the broken or decayed sections removed.

Cosmetic & Precise Dental Restorations

CEREC dental restorations can be cosmetic and beautiful, as they are metal free and matched to your teeth. Because they are made of porcelain that is virtually flawless, have been demonstrated in have some of the highest success rates of any options in dentistry. The porcelain is designed to match the hardness and abrasiveness of enamel, so it feels like natural enamel and is kind to opposing teeth. Emax, a newer porcelain that has 3 times the strength of any previous porcelain, has been shown to have the highest success rates against breakage of any tooth-colored crown options, including zirconia-based porcelain crowns.

Dental Restoration Results

Nearly all patients have been grateful for the increased ease and convenience, and many have commented that it was the easiest crown they have ever received! With the clinical success and precision fit that is achieved, CEREC dental restorations have become an important option to consider in today's dentistry!


Don E. Larson DMD
700 E STATE ST, STE 100
Downtown Eagle

Eagle, ID 83616
Phone: 208-939-3500
Fax: 208-939-3837

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