A revolutionary new technology known as CEREC (Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic) allows dental patients to reduce the amount of stress and anxiety typically involved in procedures that necessitate prosthetic teeth that are typically manufactured in a dental lab. What makes CEREC so revolutionary is that all of the processes that would typically take days or even weeks to complete in a dental lab are now able to be completed in a dentist’s office, allowing procedures that were traditionally multi-visit to be completed in a single day.
In the past, dental patients who needed inlays, onlays, veneers or crowns would follow a multi-step procedure leading to their permanent placement of the prosthetic teeth. On the first visit the dentist would clean and prepare the area to receive the false tooth, take detailed impressions and then affix a temporary tooth into the area that will be replaced by the permanent tooth once it is received back from the dental lab. The entire time that the process was playing out meant that a semi-permanent tooth was in place in the patient’s mouth, potentially coming loose and causing damage to the prepared area. The patient had the possibility of needing multiple anesthetics on different visits, as well as the inconvenience of having to come back to the dentist a second time. CEREC allows the dentist to take detailed 3D photographs during the first visit, which are then used to mill the prosthetic tooth replacement while the patient waits in the chair. This prosthetic is as strong as any created in a traditional dental lab, and can last upwards of ten years without replacement.
Not all dental offices have the CEREC system, as the costs associated with the purchase of a high tech manufacturing device are not a good fit for some smaller offices. Dentists who have opted to utilize the CEREC system have generally done so understanding that the added expenses to their business will create a larger patient base who understand the convenience of choosing a dentist who is equipped with the most modern technology. It is wise to check with your local dentist to see if they offer the CEREC system before making your appointment. If they do not offer the CEREC system, you can expect a far longer wait time in between initial visits and finalization of your procedure. In many cases you will also expect added costs associated with the creation of the new teeth.