CEREC Chapel Hill NC

The CEREC Procedure

Since few people have excellent teeth free of decay and fillings, let’s face it. You likely have one or more fillings in your mouth that serve to “fill” a hole in your tooth that was created when rotten tooth structure was removed. These fillings are frequently constructed of metal, which has the potential to weaken the tooth or cause further rot under or around it. In fact, over the next ten years, 1.2 billion of these metal fillings will need to be replaced. Since 1987, hundreds of dentists have utilized the CEREC technique to replace these fillings as well as to strengthen and improve the appearance of any tooth that has decay or other damage. Even better, it only takes one appointment and is completed with tooth-colored, all-ceramic materials!

Exam and Preparation for CEREC

Dr. Lehmann first evaluates the tooth and decides on the best course of action. Depending on how much healthy tooth structure is left and Dr. Lehmann’s clinical assessment, it can be a straightforward filling, an Onlay, or a full crown. After giving you an anesthesia, he removes decaying and weak tooth tissue to prepare your teeth for the repair. He would prepare similarly for numerous more restorative methods.

Optical Impression

The prepared tooth is then optically imprinted by your dentist. A camera is then used to take a digital image of your tooth in place of filling a tray with impression “goop” that you must bite into and hold in your mouth until it hardens. The entire optical impression procedure only takes a few seconds.

No Temporaries

The restoration for your tooth is then made by Dr. Lehmann with the aid of the CEREC machine. The digital image is transformed into a three-dimensional virtual model on the computer screen using the CEREC 3D program. He or she uses the CEREC 3D computer application and their dental knowledge to design the restoration. Dr. Lehmann pushes a button, and the restoration design data is sent to a different milling machine in the office within a short period of time. You put a ceramic block in the milling machine that matches the color of your teeth. Your entirely ceramic, tooth-colored restoration will be finished and prepared for bonding in place in about 10 to 20 minutes. In order to verify a good fit and bite, your dentist will finally try the restoration in your mouth. Then comes the restoration. Following that, the restoration is polished and attached to the ready tooth. Your tooth is fixed without the need for a “temporary” procedure or a second visit. It only takes one appointment to complete everything! Today, ask us about CEREC.

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.

With the use of the cutting-edge CEREC restorative dentistry equipment, your dentist can repair decaying teeth, place crowns, get rid of bad amalgam fillings, or apply cosmetic veneers in only one visit. This enables you to receive the best, most realistic dental restorations in only one appointment with the dentist, so you can get in, out, and back to living your busy life.

CEREC Acquisition Unit

A transportable computer with a medical grade CPU and a CEREC camera make up the CEREC Acquisition Unit. Your prepared tooth is captured digitally by your dentist using the camera. Instead of a traditional impression, this image is used. This implies that you won’t have an impression tray or chewable stuff for some minutes. The digital image is transformed into a three-dimensional virtual model of your prepared tooth by the computer and CEREC 3D software. While you wait (and observe! ), the dentist uses the software to create your restoration. Any single tooth restoration, including crowns, inlays (fillings), onlays (partial crowns), and dental veneers, can be designed with the use of this program. Your dentist clicks “create” after designing your restoration, which typically takes around five minutes. Your dentist will design your restoration, which takes them typically 5 minutes, and then press a button to send the design information to the CEREC Milling Unit.

CEREC Milling Unit

A ceramic block is chosen by your dentist or dental assistant to match the color of the tooth being restored. The block is then put into the milling unit by the person. Two diamond-coated bursts are used to shape the block into the indicated restoration shape using the information from the Acquisition Unit as a guide. Depending on the size and kind of the repair, this procedure typically lasts 5 to 10 minutes. Your dentist polishes the finished filling or crown and bonds it in place after the milling is complete.

CEREC® is a registered trademark of Sirona Dental Systems

Interested in CEREC Restorations?

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Cosmetic Dentistry


Dental Anxiety and Phobia


Up to 75% of Americans have some level of dental phobia, and 20% choose not to get their teeth cleaned as a result. We want you to know that our top goal is making you feel safe and at ease while visiting our office. Dental phobias and anxieties can manifest in many different ways, and each person has different fears. Dental anxiety can range from minor to serious, and it frequently manifests as a generalized feeling of fear and dread when anticipating a forthcoming surgery.