CEREC in Longmont, CO

What is CEREC?

CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. The official name is somewhat technical, but the key word is “Chairside.” The CEREC machine allows us to make same day custom dental restorations in one visit while you’re in our dental chair. This greatly speeds up the process that typically requires sending a mold of teeth to a lab and then waiting several weeks.

CEREC milling unit and scanner

At our Longmont office we produce dental crowns, bridges, onlays, and veneers practically every day on our CEREC. In fact, we use the CEREC so often we recently acquired a second CEREC so we can produce devices for multiple patients at the same time.

When it comes to using the CEREC for devices, Longmont Dental Loft isn’t alone. According to Dentsply Sirona, the manufacturer, over 6.5 million patients receive restorations made by a CEREC each year. This is approximately 65 times the population of Longmont!

How Does a CEREC Work?


Dr. Hedrick will log into the CEREC and specify the exact location of the restoration. After the programming is complete, your mouth will be scanned using the CEREC scanner. This will create an accurate and well detailed 3D image of your mouth.


The design of your new device starts with a proposal from the CEREC. This is a very advanced process that uses not only your tooth anatomy but information of millions of other scans in the CEREC database. There are many details in the proposal including the exact shade of the device. At this time Dr. Hedrick may modify the proposal if needed.

Produce restorative device

After the design is approved, the CEREC will mill your device out of a ceramic block. Typically, it takes 30-60 minutes to produce a device in the CEREC.


The last step involves placing the device into our CEREC Speedfire for the finishing process. The Speedfire is a small oven like device that can heat up to 2912 degrees Fahrenheit. This process with not only strengthen the device, but it will also give it the desired shade of color.

woman holding a dental bridge in a cerec

What Materials are Used with a CEREC?

CEREC machines can use several types of materials for devices. At Longmont Dental Loft we primarily use either zirconia or lithium disilicate. Zirconia is related to a metal but it’s like a ceramic. Due to this, it’s extremely durable. Lithium disilicate is also like ceramic. However, it’s more translucent than Zirconia which means it’s more aesthetically pleasing. For this reason, Lithium disilicate is usually used on the front teeth, but Dr. Hedrick can advise which material selection or combinations are best for you.

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

Devices produced in a CEREC are extremely durable. Many studies have shown that devices such as crowns produced in a CEREC are just as durable as devices produced in a dental lab. How long a device lasts comes down to two primary factors:

Dentist Skill

To have a high-quality placement the restoration prep must be as smooth and accurate as possible. This all comes down to the hand skill of the dentist. The better the restoration prep, the longer the device will last.

Patient Commitment

After you get a new crown or bridge it’s important to take good care of it. If you brush and floss every day, then your device will last much longer. And of course, it’s also important to see us for regular checkups and cleanings.

woman with CEREC machine in our longmont office

Benefits of CEREC

CEREC machines have many advantages over lab produced restorative devices. Not only does a CEREC allow us to create a higher quality product, but it also makes the experience much more convenient for you. Some of the benefits include:

Same Day Crowns, Bridges, and Implants

Instead of taking multiple trips to a dentist office, you can get a restorative device created while you wait.

No Temporary Crowns

Nobody likes temporary crowns and with CEREC, they are a thing of the past. Since they aren’t permanent, they aren’t strongly adhered to the tooth. This means with a temporary you must avoid certain types of foods to prevent it from coming off. With CEREC crowns you’ll get your crown in one visit and won’t have the inconveniences of a temporary.

Digital Scans

CEREC is all digital which means you will get a digital scan to map out your mouth. Gooey impression material is a thing of the past with CEREC.


Devices produced with CEREC are extremely accurate. For example, the digital scan is much more precise than you could ever achieve with impression material. And when it comes to creating the device, the CEREC is very advanced and creates devices just as accurate as a lab.

We Can Guarantee a Perfect Fit

If a lab creates a crown and it doesn’t have a perfect fit, we have two options. Option A would be to send it back to the lab. Of course, the big drawback is you would have to wait a few additional weeks and have one additional trip to the dentist. Option B would be to grind and cut it to fit. This option isn’t ideal either as it most likely wouldn’t end up with the perfect fit.

However, with a CEREC machine in our Longmont office we can guarantee a perfect fit. If your crown, bridge, or onlay doesn’t fit perfectly, we can create a new device in the same visit.

Dr. Hedrick’s Thoughts on CEREC

“CEREC is the number one tool in improving the patient and doctor experience in dentistry. No matter the age of the patient, each patient enjoys watching their crown or other device be created by the machine.

I take so much pride in my work and this has allowed me to love dentistry even more. Often, I jokingly tell patients that if somebody took away my CEREC, I would find a different job.

Another great thing about the CEREC is it allows my assistant to be such an integral part of the restorative process. I just love this fact as we have such a great team and it’s great to get everybody involved with creating beautiful smiles.”

Why choose us when looking for same day restorations in Longmont?

If you’re looking for same day restorations in Longmont, you’ve come to the right place. Creating devices in our CEREC is something that we have a passion for, and we’ve done a lot of it. As mentioned, our office has not one, but two CEREC machines. It’s because Dr. Hedrick makes so many restorative devices having a second machine became necessary.

Just as important as having a CEREC, is being able to do the procedure properly. Dr. Hedrick is highly skilled and will make sure you have a device created with a perfect fit.