It should come as a surprise to no one that technology is advancing at a dramatic pace. Feats that were once consigned to science fiction are occurring every day and before you realise it something as ‘space-age’ as an ultra-thin tablet computer has become a natural part of our lives. One of the most rigorous industries to make advancements in is the medical sciences, almost exclusively due to the risk any mistakes could mean to human life. But this does not mean that things are tied up in a bureaucratic standstill; there are wonderful advances being made all the time. Every now and again amongst these innovations, something truly revolutionary turns up and CEREC might just prove to be one of those leaps forward.
What is CEREC?
If you are unaware, CEREC (which stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Aesthetic Ceramics) is a system that utilises highly refined CAD-CAM (Computer-Aided Design – Computer Aided Manufacture) techniques to make replacement teeth. It achieves this by using a special camera to map the space inside your mouth in 3D and then digitally create the perfect replacement tooth or crown for you. This removes the long-winded process of moulding and recreating replacement teeth by hand and also ensures that they are perfect for each individual patient. This process is becoming an increasingly widespread option and it is easy to find out more about CEREC online, or you can ask your dentist if you feel you require such a service.
Why is this so important?
In isolation, this CEREC process seems very intuitive and convenient, especially seeing as it can produce replacements whilst you wait, but how does this change the world? Well, on its own it doesn’t. However, if you couple this with other recent innovations with 3D printing and similar technologies, then a bigger picture begins to form. A time where replacement body parts can simply be printed or milled is tantalisingly close to being a reality, and CEREC is one of the first commercially available steps in this direction. Just imagine sustaining an injury and simply checking in to a reputable Doctors office or a reliable dental clinic and having and damaged parts healed or replaced the same day. It sounds like something to be found in Star Trek, but these kinds of technology prove that it is creeping ever closer.
The future is bright
There may be a lot wrong with the world, but away from politics and other similar problems, it has to be said that we live in exciting times. The rate at which our capabilities and technologies are advancing has never been so fast, and this means that the most amazing things are becoming less impossible and more a question of time. An age where the impossible is becoming an obsolete concept; that is what technology such as CEREC represents. Yes, this is a romanticised view of such advancements, but why should we not marvel at amazing things when they hold such potential.