My favorite Dentist toy right now is my CEREC machine. I love this piece of technology because I can create individual and beautiful restorations! Many of you have had a crown made with this technology or seen and heard it in the office.
The CEREC Machine is essentially a 3D Printer. We print teeth. We use this printer to make crowns, bridges, and veneers. It has other uses as well, but these are the ones we use most often. Maybe you have seen the 1-800-DENTIST commercials talking about same day dentistry? They are talking about CEREC technology and how now it is possible to make same day restorations.
Dentists and Prosthodontists use this machine and software to make teeth, implant crowns and surgical guides.
The software uses a process called Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing, or CAD CAM. We use a wand to scan the mouth and the software converts it into a custom 3D image that is almost like a cartoon. We then use the controls to shape and build a virtual tooth. You can adjust the bite, make teeth look different or individualize to fill gaps or shorten or lengthen teeth. It is great for cosmetics and also function. The virtual tooth becomes a real tooth through a manufacturing process.
We also use the CEREC to create beautiful metal free implant crowns and bridges. The CAD CAM helps us to create teeth that will work with the implants and abutments and lets us work with previously placed implants that need replacement crowns.
The CAD CAM process takes much less time than a conventional procedure. We can scan, print and create a new crown within 2 hours. More complicated cases may take longer. In the past we had to always take goopy impressions and send it out to the lab and hope everything turned out right when the case returned in two weeks. With CAD CAM we can do one to two teeth in a morning.
See this video of the CAD CAM technology we have with CEREC! I love this stuff!
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928