On January 17th, 2015 our PGY1 AEGD residents had the opportunity to participate in an exclusive hands-on workshop using the latest Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC) sponsored by Patterson Dental. This innovative method of CAD/CAM dentistry was developed by W. Mörmann and M. Brandestini at the University of Zurich in 1980 for creating dental restorations. Using CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing), allows dentists to construct, produce, and insert individual ceramic restorations directly at the point of treatment (chairside) in a single appointment, rather than over multiple appointments with labside work in between. The first applications were successfully carried out on patients in 1985.
CAD/CAM dentistry involves a digital impression from one or more scans (using visible light scanning, digital radiographs, CT scans, or other methods), designing the restoration on the computer (computer-aided design, leading to a 3D model), and manufacturing the restoration (computer-aided manufacturing, whether by CNC milling, 3D printing, or other means). In order to carry all of these steps out in the dentist’s office – chairside – the dentist requires an image acquisition unit with an intraoral camera, the corresponding designing software, and a milling machine or a printer. Around 38,000 dentists worldwide use the CEREC method and thus produce some 6.9 million restorations each year.