CEREC is a groundbreaking dental technology that enables dentists to create high-quality, all-ceramic dental crowns in just one visit. In addition to their convenience, Michael Augins, president of Sirona, explains why CEREC restorations are healthier, more natural-looking and more durable than traditional restorations.
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Fred Joyal: I'm here with Michael Augins, who is the President of Sirona, and we're here to talk about their amazing technology called CEREC, which is same-day restorations for teeth. Michael, what is CEREC exactly?
Michael Augins: CEREC is a system that we developed at Sirona in 1985 that allows the dentist to create final restorations in a single appointment. So, it has remarkable advantages for both the patient and of course, for the dentist as well.
Fred Joyal: So, instead of getting a temporary - let's say I'm getting a crown done. CEREC allows them to not have to send it out to a lab, I guess.
Michael Augins: Absolutely. The traditional process, the dentist would take a physical impression of the mouth, take that impression, mail it out to a laboratory and wait for about one to two weeks to receive the final restoration back from the lab. With the CEREC system, the dentist can design and prepare that restoration so that it can be placed within about an hour or an hour and a half in the patient's mouth.
Fred Joyal: So, normally they put this goo on the tooth - once they've drilled the tooth, they put the goo on and take the impression of the tooth and then that's what goes to the lab, right? So what happens with CEREC?
Michael Augins: With CEREC, the camera really does the magic. We developed a 3-D camera that's able to take a three-dimensional design of the correct restoration, and we've also designed algorithms that allow a dentist to design a tooth as close to natural as possible within the system.
Fred Joyal: So - but it's still the same quality as if it went to a lab?
Michael Augins: In fact it may be better. The materials that CEREC use are factory produced and homogeneous. CEREC is able to design that and the dentist is able to fit that final restoration in the mouth within the visit. With a lab, you have a much longer feedback with it. You don't get the restoration back from the lab for two weeks. So if the color is a bit off or if the fit is a little bit worse than desired, the only option that a dentist has is to send that back to the laboratory and wait another two weeks. With CEREC, you can see that instantly collected in the system and be able to still accomplish the final restoration very quickly. So, we think that you can get a better than lab quality restoration, I would say.
Fred Joyal: So, they don't have to come back, get another shot, maybe have the temporary drilled off or somehow removed and then put this CEREC restoration on. And it's porcelain, right? It's going in as porcelain. So this all happens at once, in one visit?
Michael Augins: Absolutely. The CEREC makes a final all-ceramic restoration that can be placed in a single visit and so what does the patient save? Well, of course they save that trip back to the dentist.
Fred Joyal: Sure.
Michael Augins: They save the fact that they would have to get anesthetized again. They save - and it's a much more comfortable procedure and plus temporaries sometimes have problems. In fact, I've lost a temporary myself and if that happens, then that creates another trip and/or gap in your mouth for a while.
Fred Joyal: Yeah, yeah, there is that risk, definitely with a temporary. I mean, anybody who's had a crown that they needed to get the temporary certainly would want to do it this way. You can use this also instead of fillings, right, or I guess they call them inlays and onlays?
Michael Augins: Absolutely. For anything that in dentist parlance is class two or bigger, CEREC is a perfect restoration for. So, a dentist might typically do what you'd call large composite rather than a lab-fabricated restoration. But the problem with the composite is the composite is really a resin or a polymer much like a plastic that they layer in there. Now it's a good restoration, but typically a composite restoration will last between five and seven years. A CEREC restoration, on average, will last for 15 to 20 years and so, it's much more durable and longer-lasting solution and can be a very nice replacement for some of those restorations that a dentist might otherwise use composites.
Fred Joyal: And there's also - they can match the color of the teeth really nicely with various CEREC blocks, I guess, you would call them, the porcelain starting material.
Michael Augins: Absolutely. We have multiple shades of the starting material, including multi-shade blocks that are designed to really mimic natural tooth structure. But beyond that, the dentist also has the ability to finalize the restoration by either polishing it or staining and glazing it. And through these finishing techniques, you can make a much more tooth-like appearance than say you could with a layering composite technique.
Fred Joyal: So, you get a natural appearance from it, you get it all done in one day, you don't have to come back and it generally fits better or fits better the first time.
Michael Augins: Absolutely. All those are advantages of the CEREC system, which is why CEREC is one of the fastest growing types of restoration in the world today.
Fred Joyal: So, they get it all done in one day, it's more convenient and it's many times a better restoration but it's a natural restoration. So, it saves them time and adds convenience and takes away some of the discomfort.
Michael Augins: Absolutely.
Fred Joyal: Great. Thank you, Michael.