Dental restorations are sometimes a necessity. When a tooth has been damaged, sometimes a filling may not provide sufficient remodeling for long-term stability. To prevent further injury to the tooth, the patient may need an inlay, onlay, or crown. Historically, these restorations had to be made in a dental lab. With the development of CAD/CAM technology, specifically, the CEREC system, dentists like Dr. Siegelman can expedite the repair process, making dentistry much more patient-friendly.
CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramics. It is a process that was first developed over twenty years ago, modeled after the concept of 3D printing. The CEREC milling machine shapes porcelain dental restorations accurately and more quickly than can be achieved when an outside dental lab is involved.
The time that is saved in repairing a tooth is one of the primary benefits of CEREC treatment and why so many patients prefer this process. What better way to get results than to have an inlay, onlay, or crown made the same day right in the dental office? This eliminates the need for a second visit and wearing a temporary during the waiting period.
An additional benefit of CEREC restorations is that the process includes highly-accurate models of the tooth being repaired. During fabrication, the milling machine creates a restoration that has 7.5 microns accuracy. This significantly decreases the need for fine-tuning to fit the crown to the tooth, bringing both efficiency and ease to the entire process.
Traditionally, to have a crown, inlay, or onlay made, it has been necessary to take impressions of the tooth. Impressions are traditionally made by pressing a putty material over the tooth for a few minutes until the mold could set. This method of impressions is relatively messy and can feel uncomfortable. For a CEREC restoration, impressions are taken digitally with a handheld wand. This small instrument takes multiple images of the area to create a thorough guide for the fabrication process. The digital images are transferred right to a computer where the restoration is designed, then the milling machine creates the restoration out of durable dental porcelain.