Cerec machines have transformed dental veneers technology to the highest level.  CEREC® (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) was invented by Swiss professor Dr. Werner Moermann in the 1980’s.  Fortunately for dentistry, he had two flashes of inspiration that led to creating the CEREC system, an advanced process for fabrication of dental preparations:

  • He thought that if an ultrasound scan can make an image of an unborn baby, why not a tooth?  While that turned out to be impossible, Marco Brandestini, a Swiss engineer, discovered how to do it with visible light.
  • With that accomplished, Dr. Moermann developed a technique for high-accuracy precision fabricating of a dental filling from a solid block of ceramic, using CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design & Computer Aided Manufacturing) — a miniature version of industrial computerized design used to program manufacturing processes, much like a 3-D printer.

When a dentist uses CEREC® technology instead of impressions, a detailed sequence of pictures will be taken, which feeds into a chairside computer.  Dental software then generates a three-dimensional picture of a patient’s mouth, and an in-office milling system fabricates veneers from porcelain or composite using these highly precise images.  It’s the same process if the veneers are fabricated in an off-site dental lab, except it takes a second dental visit because they are not ready the same day.

The process:

  • The tooth is prepared, removing decayed or broken areas
  • The shade of porcelain that most closely matches a patient’s teeth is selected *
  • The material is personalized, if needed, by painting or polishing the material
  • The picture of the tooth (in 3-D) comes up on a computer screen
  • The dentist designs the veneer on-screen, making it exactly the right shape and size
  • The veneer is milled out of a solid block of dental ceramic or composite in about 10 minutes *
  • The dentist checks for fit and alignment
  • An acid gel is applied to the teeth to create a rough surface on the microscopic level
  • The bonding agent is applied that adheres inside the tiny fissures on the tooth’s surface
  • Dental cement is spread on the back of the veneers
  • The dentist applies gentle force to set the porcelain in place
  • A curing light is used to stimulate a chemical reaction in the bonding agent, hardening the cement in a matter of minutes

* There are ceramic blocks in all the different tooth colors.

Since veneers are thin, they can’t always whiten teeth that have darkened substantially as much as you might want, so to get the best results, it’s a good idea to have your teeth whitened a week or two before you get the veneers done, and after whitening, until you have the veneers on, avoid staining substances like red wine, tea, coffee, etc.  The veneers are very stain resistant.

The CEREC technology uses bio-compatible materials that are gentler on the gums, causing less irritation than putties originally used for dental impressions. These ceramic materials also closely resemble the translucency of natural tooth enamel but are more resistant to fractures and discoloration.  It is said to be the best internationally recognized dental restoration technology on the market.

The most recent version of the CEREC system is Sirona Connect, using the Apollo DI camera.  It can create a veneer in just 6 minutes!  And remember, experience and skill using this system is very important, as well as high quality materials.

It’s fast –  and it’s all finished in the one appointment!  That is the main advantage, because in all other areas they compare equally with conventional veneers.

If you are interested in base metal alloy crowns in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.