The CEREC® (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) system allows a dentist to design, create, and fit a new crown, veneer, or inlay in a single visit. Using conventional procedures, this process can take up to three weeks to complete.

The multi-instrument CEREC system consists of an infrared digital camera, a computer with 3-D imaging software, and a milling unit with diamond blades for quick, precise, and highly detailed construction of restorations.

“I was very nervous going to the dentist for the first time in a couple years. The staff made me feel very comfortable and the doctor was very informative and gave me all my options. I would recommend this Dentist to everyone!”

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What is a CEREC crown?

Crowns are life preservers for teeth that are in danger of needing extraction. If a tooth has extensive decay, a deep crack, or other problems that make the tooth very weak, a crown can be placed over the tooth to protect it and return strength. A crown fits completely over the top of a tooth covering it all the way down to the gum line. Porcelain crowns are milled to match the original shape of the natural tooth before it was prepared for the crown. The color is precisely matched to the adjacent teeth.

Most crowns take two appointments to be placed, but not at Dr. Gonzalez’s Santa Rosa practice. Thanks to our CEREC system with its advanced scanning, imaging software, and in-house milling station, Dr. Gonzalez can prepare the tooth, design the crown, mill it, and place it all in just a single appointment. That’s the beauty of the CEREC system.

The end result is every bit as good as a crown fabricated in a dental lab, but we handled everything in-house with our CEREC system, all in just a single appointment.


How is a CEREC crown produced?

When Dr. Gonzalez prepares the tooth for the crown, he shaves the tooth down on all sides and on the top. This makes room for the crown to cover the tooth but not be any larger than the original natural tooth was. Various measurements and images are then taken of the tooth. In other practices, impressions would also be made at this point. These would be sent to the lab to make the crown. Instead, Dr. Gonzalez only needs the data (no goopy impressions required!), which he then sends directly to our CEREC system. The system software allows him to create a three-dimensional design of the patient’s crown right in the office. Once his design is finished, he shares it with the patient for final approval.

Once the design is finalized, Dr. Gonzalez sends the design parameters directly to the CEREC milling station. The milling station takes a small block of solid dental porcelain and mills it to the precise specs of Dr. Gonzalez’s design. This milling usually takes around 30 minutes.

When the custom CEREC crown is finished, Dr. Gonzalez checks the color match with your adjacent teeth. Then he places the crown on your tooth temporarily so you can test the fit. Once both of you are satisfied, he cements it onto your tooth and your once-endangered tooth now sports a sparkling new porcelain crown and is ready for biting and chewing. This is all done in a single appointment!


How CEREC Crown Technology Works

The dentist prepares the affected tooth before fitting it for restoration. Instead of using dental putty to take an impression of the tooth, a digital picture is taken using the CEREC camera. With computer-aided design and manufacturing technology, the CEREC software converts the digital picture into a 3-D virtual model of the prepared tooth. This image is then used as a guide in designing the new restoration.

Once the dentist is satisfied with the virtual tooth, the data is sent to the on-site CEREC milling unit. The new tooth is then fabricated from a block of high-quality ceramic, which comes in a wide variety of colors and shades to ensure that the restoration matches the surrounding teeth. Processing usually takes less than 20 minutes.

After the milling is finished, the dentist polishes the filling or crown and bonds it into place in the patient’s mouth.

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What is a CEREC crown made of?

CEREC crowns are milled from a solid block of dental-grade porcelain. This is the same material used by dental labs to make their crowns. It is very strong, can’t decay, doesn’t stain, and has an amazing similarity to the slight translucence of natural tooth enamel.


What are the advantages of having a CEREC crown?

We’re proud to offer CEREC same-day crowns for our patients at our Santa Rosa practice. Here are some of the advantages of this great system.

  • Convenience — What’s the value of your time? Our CEREC crowns can be designed, milled, and placed all in a single appointment. You don’t have to waste time with two appointments, along with waiting up to two weeks for a dental lab to create your crown.
  • No temporary crowns — While waiting for a dental lab to create their crown, patients have to wear a temporary crown that isn’t custom fit. Not so for our patients.
  • Can preserve more of your natural tooth — The precision of the CEREC system, which creates a 3D model of your tooth, often allows us to remove less of the natural tooth to make room for the CEREC crown.
  • No dental impressions — OK, who likes the goop and gagging reflexes that go with dental impressions? Exactly no one! The CEREC system’s digital tools allow Dr. Gonzalez to measure and then design your crown right in the system software. No need to take impressions!
  • Just as strong — CEREC crowns are milled from the same dental-grade porcelain used by dental labs. Their quality, strength, and durability are equal to those made in a dental lab. 
  • You’re involved — Because we design your crown in the office using the system’s digital technology, you can be involved and see what your crown will look like.

Will my CEREC crown look natural?

These crowns are milled from dental porcelain, just as a crown created at a dental lab is. When designing your crown, Dr. Gonzalez uses the system software, which provides a color matching feature ensuring the crown will be precisely color-matched to the natural teeth surrounding it.


How long do CEREC crowns last?

The lifespan of a CEREC crown isn’t any different than a dental lab crown. The lifespan often depends on the home hygiene of the patient. Porcelain doesn’t decay, but that doesn’t mean the tooth under the crown can’t decay. Also, if the patient practices bad habits such as chewing ice, biting fingernails, and the like, the lifespan of a crown can be greatly diminished. But with the proper hygiene and respect, our high-quality CEREC porcelain crowns can last for decades.


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Our office uses CEREC technology to complete dental crowns and other restorations in a single visit! This state-of-the-art device allows our dentist to design, create, and place your restoration in a matter of minutes, reducing your total treatment time and allowing you to leave our office with a beautiful smile. We invite you to call us at 707-542-1532 to learn more about CEREC same-day dentistry in Santa Rosa, California, and make your appointment with Dr. Darren Gonzalez.