First-Class Dentistry with Cerec

By Kathi Hecht, Dental Operations Manager

Dentistry has evolved in many ways. Today, patients can achieve more aesthetic looking dental work with less pain in record time. Methodist Healthcare Ministries (MHM) believes that the least served and underserved in our communities deserve the same access to quick, painless and quality dental care. Our goal is to help create beautiful, healthy smiles, which in turn will improve the overall health of our patients.


Since 1999, the dental team at MHM’s Wesley Health & Wellness Center (WHWC) has been using a new Cad-cam technology to create crowns in our on-site dental lab. It’s called Cerec. Cad-cam dentistry, which has been regarded as the future of dentistry, relies on digital imaging to determine the specifications of the crown rather than traditional dental impressions. This innovative process eliminates the need for patients to endure the sometimes unpleasant process of collecting impressions.

“As an added benefit, the Cerec crowns contain no metal which improves their aesthetics and are quite sturdy,” explains Dr. Phillip Brown, Dental Director. The digital image is prepared and a dental technician designs the crown using a computer. When the technician is satisfied with the design, a porcelain block is placed on a milling unit and the crown is cut. The technician will stain and glaze the crown before it goes into the oven to complete the process. Each dental technician completed specialized training to be able to use the revolutionary Cerec System.

The Cerec System not only improves the look of the crowns being produced, it is also fast! Through Cerec, it is possible for dental patients to receive quality dental treatment, including a new crown, in record time. “The one thing I find fascinating about using this system is how fast I can make a crown. Literally, if time permitted, a patient can come in for their dental appointment to have a single crown made and have it placed in their mouth faster than ever before,” shared Cynthia Ortegon, Dental Laboratory Technician Assistant. Today, at the WHWC Dental Laboratory, nearly 180 crowns go through this process each month.

The dental team is committed to patient satisfaction. Our ultimate goal as a health care provider of dental services is to fix existing dental issues, provide education to prevent further issues and help our patients feel more confident about one of their most important assets—their smile. The Cerec System helps us do this!

Pictured left to right, WHWC Dental Laboratory Team: Richard H., Dental Laboratory Technician – Removables; Carlos G., Dental Laboratory Technician; Cynthia O., Dental Laboratory Technician Assistant; Perry S., Dental Laboratory Supervisor; Karin H., Dental Laboratory Technician; and Yuridia A., Dental Laboratory Model Technician.