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An indirect ceramic restoration of a damaged tooth usually requires multiple visits and a significant wait time of many weeks. During this wait time, it is necessary to wear a temporary restoration to protect the tooth, to maintain your bite, and to avoid painful sensitivity. Today, it is possible to have many of these restorations prepared and made in one convenient visit.

Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Milling (CAD/CAM) can be used to design and fabricate a variety of dental restorations. One such system is the CEREC (CEramic REConstruction) technology. At Academy Dental, CEREC is used to create strong and beautiful crowns, onlays, and inlays--usually in a single convenient appointment.

At Academy Dental, an appointment to have a ceramic restoration made is usually scheduled for somewhere between one to two hours. At the appointment, the tooth is first gently shaped to accommodate its new restoration. The prepared tooth is then powdered and scanned to record its shape and its relation to the surrounding teeth.

With the tooth scanned, the CAD part of the process begins. On a computer, a 3D model of the teeth is used to design the new restoration. Our dentists design the new crown, onlay, or inlay for optimal shape, size, strength, and bite.

Once the restoration design is complete, the CAM part of the process begins. A block of strong porcelain material is first chosen to approximate the color of your neighboring teeth. It is then loaded into a nearby milling unit where its shape is milled with high precision. This is usually done in less than 15 minutes.

Depending on the material chosen and its place in your mouth, the newly milled restoration is then polished or baked in a high temperature porcelain oven. The finished product is tested in your mouth to verify its fit and then cemented using a high strength resin cement.

Convenience. A CEREC crown or other ceramic restoration can usually be done in a single visit. This avoids the inconveniences of taking time off from work or school and the hassle of wearing a temporary crown for several weeks.

Conservation. CEREC restorations often allow for less tooth structure to be destroyed in preparing a tooth. Since these restorations also bond to tooth structure, teeth that normally could not be saved, can be restored with these restorations.

Strength. A milled crown is a monolithic crown--it is made from a solid porcelain as opposed to the traditional layered porcelain. This makes for a stronger and more durable crown.

Compatibility. CEREC crowns mimic the flexing and strength of natural teeth. With the CAD advantage, your original teeth can also be copied and designed into the new restoration.

Additional Resources

CEREC process video