The CEREC Procedure

Let’s face it. Very few of us have perfect teeth, without decay and fillings. You can probably see a filling or two in your own mouth, which do just that — “fill” a cavity, or hole, in a tooth left from the excavation of decayed tooth structure. In many cases, those fillings are made of metal material and can go bad, weaken the tooth, or get additional decay under or around it. That’s why 1.2 billion of these metal fillings will need to be replaced in the next 10 years. Recognizing this, we proudly rely on CEREC, a safe, effective, affordable method used by thousands of dentists worldwide since 1987, to replace these fillings and to restore any tooth that is decayed, weakened or broken to its natural strength and beauty. For you, this means your replacement fillings and restorations are completed with durable, all-ceramic materials that are more natural (tooth-colored). It also means this work can be done in a single appointment, no longer requiring multiple visits, saving our patients time and money.

Exam and Preparation

Here at Comfort Dental, Dr. Funderburk will closely examine the tooth and determine the best treatment plan for you, specific to your needs and your oral health goals. This could be a simple filling, or a full crown, depending on how much healthy tooth structure is remaining. Once this is discussed with you, anesthetic will be administered and your tooth will be prepared for the restoration, with Dr. Funderburk expertly removing any decayed and weakened tooth tissue. This preparation process is much like the preparation process performed by Dr. Funderburk as he readies your mouth for other restorative techniques.

Optical Impression

Once your tooth is prepared, an optical Impression of the tooth will be completed. Instead of filling a tray with impression “goop” that you must bite into and hold in your mouth until it hardens, Dr. Funderburk coats your tooth with a non-toxic, tasteless powder, then uses a special digital camera to take a digital picture of your tooth. The entire optical impression process takes only a minute or two – from start to finish.

No Temporaries

Next, the CEREC machine we use here at Comfort Dental helps Dr. Funderburk create the restoration for your tooth. Our technologically advanced CEREC 3D software takes the digital picture of your tooth and converts it into a 3-dimensional virtual model – all on a dedicated computer screen. Using the CEREC 3D computer program, Dr. Funderburk expertly creates your restoration. Within minutes, his custom design data is sent to a separate milling machine here at Comfort Dental.

A ceramic block that matches your tooth shade is placed in the milling machine and just 10 to 20 minutes later, your all-ceramic, tooth-colored restoration is finished and ready to bond in place.
Once ready, Dr. Funderburk will work to make sure the restoration is a perfect fit in your mouth, ensuring proper fit and bite. The restoration is then polished and bonded to your prepared tooth. That’s it! Your tooth is restored with no “temporary” or return trip necessary.

What is CEREC? CEREC is an acronym…

  • Chairside: The technology is in the dental operatory and used while you are in the chair
  • Economical: The procedure is economical for both dentist and patient
  • Restorations: The procedure restores your tooth to its natural beauty, function, and strength
  • Esthetic: The restorations are metal-free and tooth-colored
  • Ceramic: High-strength ceramics are used that are close in composition to your natural tooth structure.

At Comfort Dental, we rely on CEREC, the most advanced dental restorative system, to restore your decayed teeth, place your crowns, remove any defective amalgam fillings you may have, or place your cosmetic veneers in just one appointment. CEREC provides our patients with the highest quality, most lifelike dental restorations in just one visit, saving you valuable time and money, while giving you the best results possible.

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CEREC Acquisition Unit

The Comfort Dental CEREC Acquisition Unit is mobile and houses a medical grade computer and the CEREC camera. This advanced camera technology takes a detailed digital picture of your prepared tooth. This digital picture is used instead of the time-consuming, messy, traditional impressions of the past. The computer and CEREC 3D software then converts the digital picture to a three-dimensional virtual model of your prepped tooth. Dr. Funderburk uses this to expertly design your restoration – right there on the computer screen, screen using the software while you wait (and watch!). This exciting software assists Dr. Funderburk with custom designing many single tooth restorations: crowns, inlays (fillings), onlays (partial crowns), and veneers. Once the restoration design is complete (usually about a five minute process), the design data is communicated via a wireless radio signal to the CEREC Milling Unit.

CEREC Milling Unit

We carefully choose a shade that matches the tooth we’re restoring for you. A ceramic block that matches this shade is inserted into Comfort Dental’s CEREC Milling Unit. The data from the Acquisition Unit is used to direct two diamond-coated burs to carve the block into the indicated shape of the restoration. This process usually takes 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size and type of restoration. After the milling is finished, we polish your restoration – the finished filling or crown and Dr. Funderburk carefully bonds it into place.

CEREC® is a registered trademark of Sirona Dental Systems