At Anderson & Zentz Dental, we use the most advanced technology available in order to ensure our patients have the most efficient and comfortable experience at the dentist as possible. This includes CEREC, the method we use to apply crowns. Our more inquisitive patients may be wondering… what exactly is CEREC?

It’s All In The Name

It’s not much of a mystery, in fact pretty much everything you need to know about CEREC is all in the name. CEREC is an acronym that stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics.

OK, that’s a lot to process in one sitting. Let’s break that down one term at a time.

Chairside: the dentist uses the CEREC method while the patient sits in the chair; everything is done in one appointment. Economical: CEREC is more affordable for both the dentist and the patient compared to previous methods. Restoration: the CEREC method restores damaged teeth back to their natural appearance. Esthetic: the CEREC method is used to enhance the appearance of your smile. And, finally, Ceramics: the CEREC method uses ceramics/porcelain instead of metal.

Before CEREC, the process of having crowns made and then installed took a lot of time. First, you had to sink your teeth into the nasty filament that lines impression trays. Then, you would have to leave that appointment and wait a few days for all the lab work to be completed before you could come in to actually get your crown.

CEREC is a much more efficient practice. What used to take days can now be done in a single visit, and it’s much cheaper now too. That first C may stand for “chairside”, but it could just as easily stand for “convenient” or “cost-effective”.

How Does It Work?

CEREC requires two pieces of equipment: an acquisition unit and a milling machine. The acquisition unit is a medical-grade computer and camera that takes a detailed image of the tooth that is about to be crowned. The advanced software in the computer then takes that image and displays it as a 3D model.

The 3D model allows your dentist to design your restoration on the spot, while you wait/watch. This part of the process should take only about 5 minutes, and it makes the uncomfortable experience of shoving a gooey impression tray in your mouth no longer necessary.

Once your dentist has finished designing the crown, they’ll send that design via a wireless connection to the milling machine. A ceramic block is fed into the milling machine, and a set of diamond burs carve that block into the shape the dentist designed. This will only take about 10 or 20 minutes. Once the machine has done its work, all that’s left to do is for your dentist to take the crown out of the machine, polish it, fix it to the damaged tooth, and you’re good to go.

Need a crown? Take advantage of the quick, effective, and relatively cheap CEREC method that Dr. Anderson uses. You can contact Dr. Anderson’s practice, Anderson & Zentz Dental, at (509) 585-2500.