The term CEREC as used in dentistry stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic. This is a system that uses CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) to fabricate dental restorations. According to a review in the Journal of Dentistry and Oral Care, the system can be used to design crowns, inlays and onlays, fixed bridges, veneers, dental implants, dentures and some orthodontic appliances.
How does Cerec Work?
Let's say that you're seeing your dentist for a digitally manufactured crown. Your dentist will first anesthetize the area and prepare the tooth in question. Then, your dentist will scan the tooth with the CEREC device, which takes a digital impression and use the image to make a computerized design of the crown restoration. Next, they will send the digital design to either a machine in the dental office or a remote dental laboratory where a custom crown will be milled from a solid block of restorative material — usually a type of ceramic.
If the final crown is manufactured in the office, it will also be sintered and polished before being bonded to your tooth during your visit. If the restoration was sent to be made at a dental laboratory, your dentist will provide a temporary crown for you to wear until the final restoration can be delivered and placed at a follow-up appointment.