Same-day Crowns: CAD/CAM and CEREC®

Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic (CEREC®) has pioneered dental procedures. CEREC® is made up of a computer-assisted design (CAD) tool and a milling machine that gives our Charlottesville dentists the ability to create custom made ceramic dental restorations in little time.

In the past, the conventional crown procedure consisted of the tooth preparation, messy impression materials that cause gagging, and the fabrication of a temporary crown. Then, the impression is sent to the lab and the patient waits 3-4 weeks for the crown to be fabricated. Once the crown is fabricated, the patient returns, having to be anesthetized again, and the crown is finally cemented.

With CEREC® technology, there is no messy impression materials, no temporary crown, and no second appointment! That means you walk out of our Charlottesville dental office with the final crown that same day!

Hollymead Dental Arts - Charlottesville Dentists Offering CEREC Dental Restoration TechnologyWhat is the CEREC® system?
The CEREC® system is also referred to as a CAD-CAM system. Simply put, CAD stands for "Computer Assisted Design" and CAM stands for "Computer Assisted Milling." Therefore, CEREC® uses computer design and a milling device to create custom-made restorations.

Below you will find information on the three major components of the CEREC® system:

  • Acquisition device – This device uses a high quality camera and a medical grade computer. The unit works together to photograph the tooth you want restored. The device creates three-dimensional images of the tooth on the computer screen. Your Charlottesville dentist uses that image to design your custom-made dental restoration.
  • Three-dimensional CAD software – This provides your Hollymead dentist with the ability to look at the tooth from every angle. Using this dental technology, the dentist comes as close as possible to examining the tooth in his/her hands while rotating it on the screen.
  • Milling device – This unit makes the custom dental restoration based on the specifications from the computer. Your Charlottesville dentist chooses a ceramic block that provides the closest match to your existing tooth color. That block is then placed into the unit. After a few minutes, the milling device produces the restoration designed by your dentist.

Is the CEREC® restoration procedure complex?
No. CEREC® makes it easy for your Charlottesville dentist to customize your new dental restoration. Below you will find detailed steps about the procedure:

  • The dentist prepares the tooth by removing all decay and creating a divergent occlusal axial wall. The dentist creates that wall to make the opening of the tooth wider than the actual base.
  • The camera takes those detailed images of the tooth using optical imaging with an infrared wavelength.
  • The image becomes transposed on the computer screen. This is where your Charlottesville dentist views the tooth from all angles so he/she has the needed visuals to design the dental restoration.
  • The dentist completes the design and transmits it to the milling unit.
  • The dentist chooses a block of ceramic that closely matches your tooth color. This creates natural looking and virtually invisible results.
  • Within 10 minutes, the milling unit creates the crown, onlay, overlay or veneer using compressed porcelain instead of laboratory-layered porcelain. Compressed porcelain makes stronger and more durable restorations and saves patients time and money.
  • Your Charlottesville dentist then places the dry restoration to ensure fit. Once your dentist determines the fit, he/she will polish the restoration and affix it to the tooth using dental cement.

That completes the process and you do not have to go back for a second fitting!

Will CEREC® benefit me?
CEREC® benefits many patients looking for a ceramic dental restoration device. Some advantages include:

  • Permanent (no temporary) and long-lasting dental restorations
  • High-quality devices that save more natural tooth
  • Less-invasive procedures for patients
  • Fewer injections resulting in less discomfort for patients
  • Fewer dental visits means fewer costs to patients
  • Biocompatible solutions that do not harm the body
  • No horrible-tasting impressions
  • No time-consuming transfers to and from a lab

Some exceptions apply. If you have a history of breaking these types of devices or you have a deep bite, you should speak to your Charlottesville dentist because these products may not be the best option for you.

How long do CEREC® dental restorations last?
We know that CEREC® devices last for over five years. Now, research shows that most CEREC®-created dental restorations may last for more than 10 years.

Your Charlottesville dentist can provide additional information and answer any questions you have regarding CEREC®.