In a previous post, we wrote an introduction to Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic
Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction, (CEREC), which can digitally produce a cosmetically attractive, biocompatible porcelain crown in just a single day. The benefits to doctors and patients are enormous: patients can get quick treatment and relief from their pain, and doctors save/make money since they don’t have to outsource their work to a lab. Doctors can also pass on these savings to patients, and incentivize the procedure by defraying the costs compared to a traditional crown.
But CEREC is more than just a nifty gadget—it’s a sign of the times. What makes CEREC different is that it brings dental technology into the digital revolution. Like digital printing, CEREC makes it possible to fabricate something that I have designed right in my dental office. It gives me more control over the work that I do, which in turn gives my patients more confidence and less apprehension about the whole procedure. Crowns are just the beginning—with CEREC scanning, imaging, modeling, and fabrication technology, the possibilities for creating custom dental implants and aids are endless.
Just as a recent example, CEREC recently announced a partnership with Invisalign that will allow dentists to use this technology to produce custom orthodontic solutions for their patients right in the office. Invisalign has already paved the way for minimally invasive, painless, and convenient orthodontic treatment that is revolutionizing the way patients and doctors think about braces. If we were only a software update away from combining CEREC technology with Invisalign, what else is possible? Are CEREC veneers, implants, or dentures in our future? I’m optimistic—if the technology is this good already, dentistry can only keep getting better.