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Cosmetic dentistry treatments are constantly evolving and here at Cashel Daisley we can now offer a variety of tratments, including porcelain veneers, all of which can be completed during just one appointment.

Read on to find out more about our state of the art CEREC system which transforms patients’ smiles – in just a single day  :

CEREC is an acronym which stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics – or in other circles, the simpler variation of CEramic REConstruction is preferred. CEREC is a method of dentistry developed in 1980 by Prof. Werner H. Merriman and Dr. Marco Brandistini at the University of Zürich.

Their method involves the usage of CAD/CAM software, in which digital impressions from multiple scans of the mouth are used to generate models from which dental restorations can be created. The real innovation of this approach lies in the fact that it compresses an otherwise lengthy process into a much shorter time frame, usually a single visit to the dental practice, after which the individual ceramic restoration is installed right at the point of treatment (which is where the chairside reference comes in).

The general CEREC process

While the patient relaxes in the chair, a dentist can literally carry out all phases of the CEREC process right there in the office. An intra-oral camera first takes a picture of the preparation site, the teeth being targeted, and then the bite surfaces. Using those images, the CAD/CAM software generates a computer model of the patient’s mouth, specifically for the targeted area.

The model created by the CAD/CAM software is then used to construct a computer image of the tooth restoration, which is forwarded to a milling machine. In less than 20 minutes a restoration is created, using diamond-coated milling surfaces. The color of the ceramic block used will be matched to the patient’s teeth, so that it blends in well. If necessary, the restoration can be polished, painted, or glazed as a final touch-up before integrating it into the mouth with an adhesive.

CEREC for veneers

One of the most popular applications for CEREC dentistry is in the area of veneers for patients’ teeth . Veneers are fabrications that are applied directly over the patient’s existing teeth for the purpose of protecting them from further damage, or for the purpose of providing a more appealing smile. Patients with a history of unattractive teeth find the aesthetic appeal of veneers to be a powerful motivation to undergo the process.

This is especially true when a significant life event is on the horizon, for instance a wedding, where a person might be expected to mingle with large crowds of people. CEREC dentistry for veneers incorporates the following specific steps, all of which can be carried out in the dentist’s office in a single day.

First, the CAD/CAM software analyzes the teeth adjacent to those teeth which will receive the veneer, and a recommendation is made which matches reasonably well with the form and shape of those other teeth around the arch. Then the target teeth are also scanned, and the opposing teeth on the lower arch of the mouth are also scanned. Next the patient is asked to bite down hard, so that an impression of the bite can be recorded by the software.

After all these scans have been recorded and analyzed, a proposal for the veneer itself is generated and passed along to the milling machine. The veneer which emerges has been constructed according to the guidance of the model recommended by the scanning software, and while it is not usually perfect, it can easily be fine-tuned and textured to the desired level. The block of material used for milling the final veneer is matched as closely as possible to the color of the existing teeth, and if any further adjustment is needed, the veneer can be lightly stained to perfectly match the surrounding teeth.

CEREC cost effectiveness

While all this sounds like a very expensive procedure which makes use of advanced technology, and follows a time frame that represents a tremendous convenience to a patient, it does not necessarily mean that the cost of having a restoration made through the CEREC process is any more costly than the more conventional, drawn-out traditional method. In fact, the opposite is often true , with CEREC providing the more economical approach.

Advantages of CEREC

There are considerable advantages to undergoing the CEREC process, as opposed to the more conventional approach which enjoyed widespread usage up until recently. As mentioned above, the entire CEREC procedure can be accomplished in a single session at the dentist office, whereas any other approach would certainly require several visits. Also, the ceramic material used in the CEREC process is much closer to the physical properties exhibited by enamel, in terms of its durability and aesthetic appeal.

Gold or amalgam for instance, stand out much more as an insert and lack the durability of tooth enamel. The digital impressions taken by the CAD/CAM software and camera system are much less invasive, and are far more comfortable than the traditional method of taking impressions.

CEREC technology nowadays has been advanced even further than the process originally developed in Zürich, so that the milling and polishing of a restoration which is aided by a computer last far longer than ceramic inlays manufactured in any laboratory. As a demonstration of the long-term effectiveness of the CEREC process, studies have shown that CEREC restorations are still highly effective 10 years after installation, with a 95.5% effectiveness rating. In addition, that percentage drops only by about 10% after a further 10 years.

CEREC – a quantum leap for dentistry

CEREC dentistry represents a quantum leap in the field of preparation of veneers that can offer much greater protection to patients whose natural enamel has been eroded over time, and for patients who simply want to upgrade smiles they are not comfortable with.

While many patients may have been deterred in the past because of the long, drawn-out process of scanning, milling, and fitting, that process now has been made much less invasive for a patient – certainly nothing that should instill fear or apprehension. In addition, the wonderful compression of time to a single session acts as a powerful motivator to undergo the process. As more and more dentists begin offering the service, more patients will undoubtedly want to take advantage of that offering.