A CEREC restoration is placed somewhere in the world every five seconds. This amounts to more than 35 million inlays, onlays, crowns, veneers and abutments to date which have been manufactured by around 38,000 active CEREC users and placed for patients in one session.
There is now such a CAD/CAM system for chairside treatment in more than every seventh practice in Germany. Yet this development has been far from inevitable. When Dr. Dr. Werner H. Mörmann was looking for an alternative to amalgam fillings together with the electrical engineer Dr Marco Brandestini more than 30 years ago, the idea of a machine for computer-assisted production of ceramic restorations was born, thus heralding the age of digitization in dentistry, he was way ahead of his time.
Pioneer of a fascinating technology
Mörmann, born in Göppingen in 1941, went to the Dental Institute in Zurich in 1970 after completing his studies and first dissertation in Heidelberg. There he gained his PhD in 1973/1974, where he focused on issues relating to dental restoration. Back then at the University of Zurich, adhesive dentistry was discussed as the solution to the problem of bonding the restoration and residual tooth, and Mörmann viewed ceramic as the suitable restoration material because it was very similar to the tooth substance in shape, color and physical properties. Together, Mörmann and Brandestini designed a 3D oral camera to take optical impressions of the preparation, a milling unit for computer-assisted production of restorations, and control software. On September 19, 1985, the first ceramic inlay was produced using this method.
His visionary idea opened up a completely new treatment approach for dentistry and became the foundation of his scientific career. In the same year, Mörmann was awarded the title of honorary professor. In 1992, he founded the Department for Tooth-Colored & Computer Restorations (SZCR) at the Dental Institute of the University of Zurich, which has since become a leader in computer-assisted dentistry. For the mass production of his CAD/CAM system, since then named CEREC (CEramic REConstruction), Mörmann was able to win over the dental branch of Siemens in 1986, which became Sirona in 1997 and today operates on the market as Dentsply Sirona. In the years that followed, the company played a significant role in further developing the CAD/CAM technology into a reliable treatment method. This reliability has been proven by more than 250 clinical studies. Dentsply Sirona also developed all the necessary devices and software tools for the transfer of impression data to the dental laboratory for the production of large-span and complex restorations with the laboratory's CAD/CAM system inLab. The latest achievement is the CEREC Zirconia technique that allows the dentist to manufacture restorations from zirconium oxide using the CEREC SpeedFire sintering furnace and to place them for the patient in just one session.
"The dental industry is greatly indebted to Werner H. Mörmann," says Dr. Joachim Pfeiffer, Chief Technology Officer and former Group Vice President of CAD/CAM at Dentsply Sirona: "Thanks to this ingenious invention and continuous development of CEREC, his restoration method has become the motor for digitizing dentistry and the foundation of numerous innovative techniques that make dental care better, safer and faster."
More than just restorations
CEREC has now become the key for numerous integrated techniques. The technology is an essential component of the digital workflow of guided implantology: In conjunction with 3D x-ray data, the user can virtually plan implants, transfer them precisely into the real alveolar ridge via surgical guides, and immediately treat the patient with customized abutments and crowns. In orthodontics, digital impressions with CEREC Omnicam and the new CEREC Ortho software enable aligners to be ordered for splint treatment or, in combination with the SICAT Function software, functional diagnostics such as for craniomandibular dysfunction (CMD).
There is currently no end to the range of applications of Werner H. Mörmann's pioneering achievement. In an ongoing exchange with users, scientists and the engineers at Dentsply Sirona, the CEREC system is continuously being developed. Nevertheless, his expertise is still in demand.
Dentsply Sirona would like to offer Prof. Dr. Dr. Werner Mörmann its sincere congratulations and wishes him all the best, hoping that he continues to keep a watchful eye on innovative ideas.
ABOUT DENTSPLY SIRONA
Dentsply Sirona is the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, with a 130-year history of innovation and service to the dental industry and patients worldwide. Dentsply Sirona develops, manufactures, and markets a comprehensive solutions offering including dental and oral health products as well as other consumable medical devices under a strong portfolio of world class brands. As The Dental Solutions Company, Dentsply Sirona’s products provide innovative, high-quality and effective solutions to advance patient care and deliver better, safer and faster dentistry. Dentsply Sirona’s global headquarters is located in York, Pennsylvania, and the international headquarters is based in Salzburg, Austria. The company’s shares are listed in the United States on NASDAQ under the symbol XRAY. Visit www.dentsplysirona.com for more information about Dentsply Sirona and its products.