Cerec Demonstration Held for Century Club Members
Complete chairside dental restorations that take about an hour can replace several weeks with multiple appointments and offer clear benefits to the patients as well as the field of dental education, said supporters of the technology.
USC Century Club President Abdi Sameni invited Randy Phillips, assistant professor of clinical dentistry with the USC School of Dentistry, to demonstrate the Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic system (CEREC) for members of the Century Club at the Patterson Dental Supply Training Center on February 26. Phillips said participants who completed the training were very enthusiastic about the technology.
“They left with some real excitement,” he said.
The computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) system enables a clinician to quickly take a digital impression of a patient’s prepared tooth, automatically design the proper restoration and mill the placement-ready restoration within minutes.
Century Club member Christina Morley, who attended the training led by Phillips, said that using CEREC has made designing and creating restorations much easier and less stressful than in the past.
“My restorations look much more natural, and the contacts and embrasures are much better,” Morley said.
Chairside CAD/CAM technology can make a huge difference for patients, who can receive their restorative work in a single appointment at a potentially lower cost, Phillips said. Such efficiency also allows patients to avoid wearing temporary restorations, which can fall out or be damaged before a permanent restoration is put in place, he added.
In addition, dental students who have opportunities to use CEREC or other CAD/CAM systems during their clinical education save time and can benefit from an increased number of clinical experiences during the same time frame. They also have a big advantage over other students once they graduate and seek an associate’s position in an established private practice, Phillips added.
“Dentists from the private sector have been looking for graduates with CEREC experience,” he said. “Students who learn this technology can improve their value. This is something that can make a new graduate more financially viable.”
The School of Dentistry’s Patterson Technology Center currently houses the CEREC unit, and Phillips said he hopes to eventually see more units available for student use in the second floor clinic as well as the inclusion of CEREC instruction during students’ preclinical bonded restoration module.
“Patterson Dental is proud of its partnership with the USC School of Dentistry and helping students experience exciting clinical advancements such as CEREC,” added Scott P. Anderson, president of Patterson Dental.
Learning to operate CAD/CAM technology seems to come naturally for today’s students, many of whom grew up using computers and playing videogames, Phillips said.
“This is the future of dentistry,” he said