CEREC is a chair side CAD-CAM system which allows the dentist to generate strong, aesthetic, porcelain based fillings in a single visit. Many types of white dental restorations have traditionally required a two visit approach; One to prepare the tooth for the filling, and another to place the restoration in the mouth. This also involves a period of time in which a temporary filling material is left in the tooth, hopefully remaining there till the next visit. The CEREC technology means the restoration can be placed on the same day as the tooth is prepared, usually requiring only one injection and one appointment.

This is all possible as a digital impression is taken with an intraoral camera instead of a mucky mould being taken in the mouth. The restoration is then designed on a computer system and milled from a solid block of porcelain. Porcelain is an ideal restorative material, as it expands; contracts and flexes almost identically to tooth structure. This allows as much of the natural tooth as possible to be saved and then the restoration is chemically bonded in place.