Your Step-by-Step Guide to the CEREC Process

Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, more commonly referred to by its acronym, CEREC, is a state-of-the-art milling machine and 3D software platform. It allows cosmetic dentists to create custom dental crowns while the patient waits. This means that it’s no longer necessary to send an impression away to a lab, and wait for weeks to receive the crown.

Oral Exam

The first step before any restoration treatment is to conduct a thorough oral examination. Your dentist will make sure that you can benefit from a dental crown. If your tooth is only chipped instead of severely fractured, it may only need a filling. Your dentist will discuss your treatment plan with you before taking any action.

Tooth Preparation

Once you’ve agreed to move forward with the dental crown, your dentist may apply a local numbing agent, if needed. He or she will then prepare your tooth to receive the CEREC crown. Usually, the tooth needs to have damaged or decayed matter removed.

Optical Impression

To make a dental crown in the traditional way, patients have to bite down on a tray filled with mold material. This isn’t needed with CEREC technology. Instead, your dentist applies a safe, tasteless powder to the tooth, and uses a specialized camera to take an optical impression.

Restoration Creation

The optical impression is processed with the CEREC 3D software. The software converts it into a 3D model, which your dentist will use to design your custom dental crown. The final 3D model is sent to the CEREC milling machine, which carves your new dental crown from a ceramic block. This whole process can be completed within about 20 minutes while you relax in the treatment chair. The result is a perfectly shaped, tooth-colored dental crown.

Crown Bonding

Once the ceramic crown is finished, the dentist will place it in your mouth. This is done without oral adhesive material, and is simply to verify the proper fit and bite. Then, after giving it a final polish, your dentist will bond it firmly in place.


John Carson, DDS is pleased to offer the state-of-the-art CEREC dental crown technology to our valued patients. For modern cosmetic dentistry in Tucson, AZ, call us today at (520) 514-7203.


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