Single-Visit Ceramic Restoration (CEREC)

What is CEREC?

CEREC stands for Ceramic (CE) Reconstruction (REC). The process uses Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) to produce an extremely high quality ceramic restoration in a single visit.

How does it work?

  1. Firstly, the defective filling material and decay is removed, leaving healthy tooth structure to support the new CEREC restoration.
  2. A reflective powder is then applied to the cavity and scanned.  An optical 3D image is taken.
  3. The ceramic restoration is then designed on the computer screen using the image data.
  4. The restoration is then milled automatically from a solid industrially produced block of ceramic which produces a restoration so precise that it may be fitted and bonded immediately.

What are the benefits?

  • Protects and preserves the structure of the tooth;
  • Ceramic material used is biocompatible;
  • Perfect in appearance and quality; and
  • Long lasting and hard wearing.

CEREC is a superior quality ceramic filling.  The ceramic filling is ideal in locations where teeth have been heavily filled in the past or there are large carious lesions where the remaining tooth structure has been structurally compromised and is therefore more prone to fracture. The ceramic filling is superior to the composite style restorations (“white” fillings) in these situations and also achieves a better cosmetic result.

CEREC ceramic is an ideal material to re-support and stabilise teeth that are prone to fracture or showing signs of fracture. This is due to its strength, its ability to be bonded to the tooth and that it has similar biocompatible properties as the remaining tooth structure. Biocompatible refers to the fact that the properties like expansion and contraction with temperature changes are the same as the tooth structure, unlike other restorative materials. What this limits is the effect which you see with water in rocks, when it freezes it expands and cracks the rock, because the materials are not biocompatible.  Bonding is literally like “super- gluing” the ceramic to the remaining tooth structure.  The ceramic and tooth almost become like one strong unit.

CERECs’ can also be ideal in areas where it has been recommended that a tooth be crowned.  This process is less traumatic to the nerve of the tooth and less of the tooth structure needs be removed.  There are, however, some situations where a crown is more appropriate.  The CEREC ceramic lasts as long as a crown if used appropriately.

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