Very few people have perfect teeth that are free of fillings and decay. You might have a filling or two in your mouth, designed to fill up the hole or cavity left behind from a decaying tooth structure. In many cases fillings are made of metal material that can end up weakening the tooth or developing additional decay around them. In fact, 1.2 billion of the metal fillings placed will need to be replaced in the next 10 years. As a restorative dentist, Dr. Glenn Sperbeck offers the CEREC procedure as an alternative to metal fillings.

CEREC has been used by thousands of dentists worldwide since 1987 and will not only replace the filling, but also restore any teeth that have become decayed, weakened, or broken to their natural strength and beauty. This is done with all-ceramic materials that are the same color as your tooth, and can be performed in a single appointment!


Dr. Sperbeck will first need to examine your teeth to determine the appropriate treatment. Your treatment plan may require a simple filling or a full crown, depending on how much healthy tooth structure is still there. Next, Dr. Sperbeck will administer an anesthetic and prepare the tooth for the restoration, removing any decayed and weakened tooth tissue. This preparation is the same method used in other restorative techniques.


Next, Dr. Sperbeck will take an optical impression of the prepared tooth. Instead of filling a tray with the impression compound that you need to bite into and hold until it hardens, he will coat each tooth with a non-toxic, tasteless powder and then take a digital picture of your teeth with a special camera. This whole process only takes about one to two minutes.


Next, the CEREC machine helps us create the restoration for your tooth. The CEREC 3D software program takes digital pictures and converts them into a 3-D virtual model on the computer screen. Dr. Sperbeck can use his expertise to design the tooth restoration using the CEREC 3D computer program. Within a few minutes, he will click a button and the restoration design data will be sent to a separate milling machine in the office. A ceramic block that matches your tooth shade will be placed in the milling machine, and about 10 to 20 minutes later, your all-ceramic, tooth-colored restoration will be finished and ready to bond in place for cerec crown. Finally, Dr. Sperbeck will try the restoration in your mouth to ensure a proper fit and bite. The restoration will be polished and bonded to the prepared tooth. Your tooth will then be restored without a return trip necessary!


CEREC is an acronym for:

Chairside: The technology used while you are in the chair
Economical: Economical for both the dentist and the patient
Restorations: Restores the tooth to its natural beauty, function, and strength
Esthetic: Completely metal-free and tooth-colored for improved esthetics
Ceramic: High-strength ceramics are used to create a composition that looks just like your natural tooth structure

CEREC is an advanced restoration treatment used by restorative dentist Dr. Sperbeck and allows us to restore decayed teeth, remove defective metal fillings, place crowns, or even place cosmetic veneers.


The CEREC Acquisition Unit is a mobile unit that houses a medical-grade computer and the CEREC camera. Dr. Sperbeck will use the camera to take a digital picture of your prepared tooth, and this picture is used instead of a traditional impression. This means that no impression tray is required. The computer and CEREC 3D software convert the digital picture to a three-dimensional virtual model of your prepped tooth. Dr. Sperbeck will then design your restoration right on the screen with the computer software program while you wait. This same software can be used to design any single tooth restoration, including crowns, inlays (fillings), onlays (partial crowns), and veneers. Once he has designed your restoration, which usually only takes about five minutes, he will click a button, and the design data is communicated wirelessly to the CEREC Milling Unit for production.


Dr. Sperbeck or a dental assistant will choose a ceramic block that matches the shade of the tooth being restored. They will insert the block into the Milling Unit and the data from the Acquisition Unit will be used to direct two diamond-coated burs to carve the block into the shape of the custom restoration. This entire process typically takes between 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the restoration. After the milling is finished, Dr. Sperbeck will polish the finished filling or crown and bond it into place.

CEREC is a registered trademark of Sirona Dental Systems.