CEREC in Greenwood Village

CEREC machine

CEREC milling unit and scanner

What is a CEREC Machine?

A CEREC machine is a high-tech piece of equipment that makes customized dental restorations in one visit. Devices it can produce include crowns, bridges, onlays and veneers. According to Dentsply Sirona, the manufacturer, over 6.5 million patients are treated with a CEREC each year. This is approximately 10 times the population of Denver!

How Does the CEREC Machine Work?


The first step involves telling the CEREC where we want to do the restoration. After that is entered into the CEREC we will scan your mouth using the CEREC scanner. The CEREC will take this data and create a 3D model of your mouth.


After the scan is complete the software on the CEREC will give a proposal for the restoration. The proposal is based on your tooth anatomy as well as millions of other scans in the database. At this time, the CEREC will also state what color shade the device should be. If needed, Dr. Cha will modify the proposal.

Produce restorative device

The CEREC will mill the device from a piece of ceramic block. The material we use is either Zirconia or eMax. This step usually takes less than an hour.


If zirconia is used for the device, it will need to be sintered. This process involves using heat to make device more solid. It will cause liquefaction without melting the material. eMax is same process, but instead of being sintered, the process is called crystallization as its technically a glass.

The device is placed into the CEREC Speedfire which is a small device that heats up to approximately 1600 degrees Celsius (2912 degrees Fahrenheit) This will sinter the device in about 15 minutes.

During the sintering process is where the device will get the desired color. The color and shade of the tooth will be adjusted during this process.

What Material is Used with the CEREC?

Although many different materials can be used with a CEREC, we primarily use two different materials. The material that we will use comes down to several factors and Dr. Cha can advise which is best for you. And it may be a combination of the two.


Made from zirconium dioxide. Although it’s related to titanium, it’s like ceramic.


Made from lithium disilicate and like ceramic. eMax is more translucent compared to Zirconia and looks more natural as a result. In fact, it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing materials that can be used. Although eMax is very durable, it’s not as strong as zirconia. For this reason, eMax is usually used on front teeth that are more visible.

How Long do CEREC Crowns, Bridges, and Onlays Last Compared to a Lab Restoration?

Many clinical studies have shown that being created in a CEREC has no bearing in how long the device lasts. In fact, devices created in dentist’s office on CEREC machines are just as good as lab restorations. How long a crown or bridge lasts comes down to two factors:

Dentist skill: The dentist’s ability to make the restoration prep as smooth as possible (hand skill of dentist)

Patient Commitment: Patients brushing and flossing every day. Plus, seeing the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

Benefits of CEREC:

There are many benefits of using a CEREC to create a restorative device and no major drawbacks. The technology is so advanced we’re able to create devices that have the better quality that we would get from a lab. Benefits include:

  • Same day crowns, bridges, and implants
  • No temporary crowns needed
  • No gooey impressions as all scans are digital
  • Extremely accurate and devices will fit perfectly
  • We can guarantee a perfect fit: If a lab created crown comes back and doesn’t fit properly we would have to either grind and cut it to get it to fit (not ideal) or wait several weeks for a replacement. But with a CEREC machine if your crown isn’t a perfect fit, we can create a new crown on the spot!

What do we use the CEREC for in our Greenwood Village Office?

Crowns, Bridges, Onlays

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