CEREC® Celebrates 30 Years of Advances to Improve the Patient Experience
Adam Busch, CEREC Product Manager, says even 30 years after Sirona introduced CAD/CAM with CEREC, the brand continues to leverage its first-to-market advantage, bringing ever-greater improvements and services to CAD/CAM doctors and laboratories worldwide.
"The CEREC product line was founded on the premise of providing an improved patient experience, which is based not only on the convenience of single-visit restorations, but also an improved quality of care partly due to the ability to avoid temporizing, which increases the amount of stress on the prepared tooth," he explains.
Busch says while it is the "best-in-class" CEREC hardware that receives much of the attention, it is the software in particular that sets CEREC apart from its competition. "With its ability to use the scanned data in ways that are more useful and efficient, our software is the biggest but most underappreciated part of our business," he notes. He cites such examples within the software as the introduction of a virtual articulator to simplify more difficult clinical applications and biogeneric proposals that previously used generic tooth models stretched between contact points.
"Ours is the only software today that can actually analyze the surrounding teeth to predict the anatomy of prepared teeth," Busch says. Such advancements, he adds, continue to give clinicians more power to make good clinical choices in their offices with their patients. "In some cases, we can take what has historically been a 2- or 3-hour manual process and distill that down to 10 seconds of processing time within the software."
Laboratories have widely adopted the technology, Busch says, which enables them to function far more efficiently and profitably using automated processes that help compensate for a shrinking workforce of qualified technicians and maximize the advantages of the digital workflow. "For a laboratory that is processing a large volume of cases on a regular basis, CAD/CAM is invaluable in that it helps streamline efforts, control costs, and maintain quality, enabling labs to efficiently provide clinically sound restorations for their client dentist while functioning profitably."
For this reason, Busch observes, nearly every restoration that comes back from a laboratory these days has some component of CAD/CAM dentistry, or the complete product is made from CAD/CAM.
The CAD/CAM market continues to grow at a rapid pace, Busch attests. "A growing number of competitors are introducing hardware and software, and manufacturers worldwide are focused on bringing new materials to market in anticipation of these introductions." Additionally, he notes, universities are investing in the technology and using it in dental schools. The most striking example of this is Boston University's recent adoption of the technology. In fact, Busch says, "Sirona has more CAD/CAM systems in universities within Boston than nearly all of our competitors combined in every other US institution."
Busch emphasizes that it's not just the efforts of Sirona that propel CEREC's innovative hardware and software forward, but also its enormous "fan" base of CEREC doctors, who "spread the word," advocating for this technology and training dentists worldwide to maximize its advantages to serve the best interests of their patients and their practices.
This, he says, includes the Sirona partnership with Patterson Dental and its investment in education and training. "There are hundreds of trainers, all CEREC dentists, who support all the Patterson branches," Busch says, adding that these efforts are bolstered by an army of trainers, such as those at CEREC Doctors (cerecdoctors.com) in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Digital Enamel (digitalenamel.com) in Austin, Texas, composed of CEREC dentists who share their experiences.
All of these groups, Busch says, provide the kind of continuing education needed to help new CEREC users move from traditional dentistry to CAD/CAM dentistry. "Our dedicated ‘fan base' members, who are the primary drivers of the message about how CEREC made their practice better, are the ones who largely determine how quickly that change can take effect."
Sirona Dental, Inc.
4835 Sirona Dr, Suite 100
Charlotte, NC 28273