Cerec Crowns and Inlays

Cerec refers to a specific type of ceramic reconstruction that is mainly used to restore a tooth so that it can be fitted with a crown or inlay. It is a method of CAD (Computer Aided Design) / CAD (Computer Aided Manufacture) dentistry, developed in 1980 by W. Mörmann and M. Brandestini. Today, Cerec has become a key technique within the global dentistry industry.

Restoration Treatment Types

There are two types of restoration treatments.

Traditional Method

In this method, the tooth is numbed, the tooth is then prepared and an impression of the tooth is taken. This impression is sent to a laboratory where technicians construct the restoration. While you are waiting for your restoration to be constructed, your dentist will fit you with a temporary reconstruction, enabling you to go about your life normally.

The inlay or crown is usually sent back to your dentist from the lab within approximately two weeks. At this point, you’ll need a second appointment with your dentist, during which your mouth will be numbed again, and the restoration fitted to your tooth.

Cerec Treatment

As opposed to a traditional treatment, a Cerec treatment only takes ONE appointment. In a Cerec treatment, the tooth is numbed, prepared and then sprayed with a powder that allows for the CAD/CAM technology to differentiate between the tooth and the gum.

A small camera then takes a series of images of the prepared tooth, which are sent to a computer. The computer uses these images to create a design that is sent to a milling machine. The milling machine contains a solid block of porcelain, which is then milled until it matches the digital image of your tooth.

After approximately 40 minutes, your restoration will be ready to fit to your tooth.

The restoration will be matched to your tooth and any minor adjustments will be made until the fit is perfect. The entire process usually takes about 1.5 to 2 hours in total, which includes a 40-minute break where you are out of the chair.

Benefits of Cerec

The obvious benefit of Cerec is that your restoration is ready in just one appointment, instead of having to attend two appointments over a two-week period.

In addition, because Cerec is designed and manufactured using computer-technology it removes the element of error. The mill creates a restoration that exactly matches the image generated and eliminates possible errors with distorted impressions and plaster models.

Can Cerec Be Used in All Cases?

Unfortunately, Cerec cannot always be used. The location of the tooth that needs to be restored plays a huge role. Some teeth or areas of damage may be too obscured by the shape of your mouth for the camera to create an accurate image for the milling machine to use.

If this is the case, a traditional restoration will have to be used. However, it’s worth remembering that traditional restorations have benefitted from advanced technology over the years, and are a far better alternative than they used to be.


If it can be used, Cerec is a better restoration alternative than traditional methods. It works better with our teeth, results are attained quicker and it removes the room for error with traditional restorations.

However, it is important that the dental surgeon you choose is experienced in Cerec. Even though the computer plays a huge role, your surgeon still has to control the process of the design and the milling.

Dr George Olstein has been involved in dentistry for over 30 years and through his desire to provide patients with the best outcomes, he has always been committed to staying on top of the latest in dentistry technology.

He is an expert in Cerec restorations and has gone to great lengths to ensure he knows how to get the best out of the technology so you get the best out of your dental treatment.

If you’re interested in a Cerec treatment to address a tooth that’s not quite right don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at Dr Olstein’s dental surgery today.