The CEREC Primemill has Arrived

After Dentsply Sirona release the CEREC Primescan in February 2019, it was only a matter of time before an accompanying milling unit came next. A little less than one year later, here we are…

Meet the Primemill: the next evolution of the MC XL Premium. An impressive feat of engineering- the Primemill is smarter, faster, and more precise than its predecessors.

SMARTER- The Primemill’s integrated block scanner will automatically scan your block to determine the type, size, color, and zirconia enlargement factor, which saves you the trouble of inputting this information yourself. In addition, the new Primemill burs are equipped with color-coded RFID chips, which feed information to the tool status display on the unit’s 7″ touchscreen interface. You’ll never unwittingly use a dull bur again.

FASTER- with the new Super Fast milling mode, you can mill zirconia restorations in half the time (approx. 5 minutes)! There is also an improved grinding mode for high quality glass ceramics to process those in record time as well.

MORE PRECISE- new electronics, software, motors, mechanical components, and a 0.5 mm milling tool allow the Primemill to achieve superior margins and surface details in Extra Fine milling mode.

With the Primemill, the CAD/CAM dentistry world is your oyster. Choose from a broad range of zirconia, glass, and hybrid ceramic options to mill or grind at blazing speeds. There has never been a more impressive or easy to use CAD/CAM system for the dental practice, but is this the right solution for you?

A Primescan, Primemill, SpeedFire oven (zirconia), and Programat oven (e.max/hybrid ceramics) will set you back well over $160,000. For the very busy same-day dentistry practice, you should be able to pay off the equipment and earn a return on your investment. Obviously, this would mean your practice has a long track-record of successful CAD/CAM implementation. But what about those new to same day dentistry? In my opinion, an investment of this magnitude would require a near certain expectation that things will go well. Unfortunately, in my business I meet a lot of people who find themselves in situations where things didn’t go as planned. These people become my clients.

There is another way to break into same-day CAD/CAM dentistry. Rather than expose your practice to potentially huge losses, I recommend you start off with a good used CEREC system. A used CEREC may not have all the bells and whistles of the latest and greatest, but it will function largely the same and yield nearly identical results at 25%-50% of the cost. Once you get your feet wet, optimize your CEREC workflow, and build your competency working with CEREC, then take the next step. By that time you should have paid back your modest initial investment, earned while you learned, and can take advantage of used Primescans and Primemills that will surely be available on the used market down the road.

For those that don’t need convincing to buy used and are looking to take advantage of the Primemill’s affect on the secondary market, stay tuned. As of yet, we have not seen an influx of mills hit the market like we saw with Omnicams last year during the Primescan release. Many factors will come into play such as Dentsply Sirona’s trade-in offer, the Primemill’s higher price point, and the number of CEREC owners who’ve made enough progress on their loans to make an upgrade financially feasible. Keep in mind that when the Primescan was released, the Omnicam had been on the market for 7 years. In contrast, CEREC’s MC X and MC XL dry mills have only been on the market for 4 years. So this time around I’m not expecting to see the same impact on the secondary market from the Primemill like we did with the Primescan a year ago. One thing is certain though, the future of CAD/CAM dentistry is primed for success.

CEREC SW 5.1 Now Available for Omnicam ACs

© Dentsply Sirona

“If I purchase a used Omnicam, will I be able to upgrade to the newest software?”

This has been a frequently asked question since the release of the Primescan AC and accompanying 5th generation software this past February. After months of speculation, we now have a solid answer:

  • In Dentsply Sirona’s October 7th press release, they announced all CEREC 5.1 SW updates will be released in October 2019.
  • Dentsply Sirona’s 5th Generation Software web page states that all 2018 Omnicam ACs and older will need a performance upgrade in order to run CEREC 5.1 and CEREC Connect 5.1 software. The extent and cost of the required Performance Upgrade will depend on your current PC Hardware version. Dentsply Sirona has built an Upgrade Advisor tool to help you check the hardware status of your Acquisition Center.
  • The Performance Upgrade comes in one of two variations: a Performance Package upgrade, which includes a new SSD drive with Windows 10, additional working memory, and a Connect 5.1 software license; or a PC Upgrade, which is exactly as it sounds- a new PC with Windows 10 and a Connect 5.1 software license.
  • If your PC Hardware version is 3.2.x to 4.4.1, then you only require the Performance Package. The cost for this package is $1,000 for CEREC Club members and $1,600 for non-members. Club members will also receive the CEREC 5.1 software license for free, while non-members will be charged $5,000 for the software.
  • If your PC Hardware version is 2.2.1 to 2.2.7, then you will need the Upgrade PC. This upgrade costs $4,359 for CEREC Club members and $5,459 for non-members. As mentioned before, non-members will also have to pay for the CEREC 5.1 software license.

*Price Source:

Obviously, the big takeaways here are that Omnicams will continue to be manufacturer supported and receive software updates. Also, an Omnicam with 3.2.x hardware or better is worth a veritable $3,300 more than those with older specs.

To consider the broader view- after eight full months to monitor the effect of the Primescan release, it “feels different” than the Omnicam release did back in 2012. Back then, you got the sense that the Bluecam was dead in the water. Sure, the Primescan is sleeker, bigger, and faster, but is it necessarily an Omnicam killer? I don’t think so, especially when you consider the value proposition of a $70k Primescan vs a $20k Omnicam. Even if you have to invest a little bit more in an Omnicam to get the latest hardware and software available, you’re still sitting pretty at about 35% of the cost of a Primescan. Is the Prime really worthy that much more? Or could one make do with an Omnicam for a few years and then make the jump to the Primescan when they become available in the secondary market? I’ll leave that for you to decide. No matter which way you go, you can’t go wrong with CEREC, as the brand continues to maintain its position as the industry leader in in-office CAD/CAM manufacturing now and for the foreseeable future.

See below for a copy of Dentsply Sirona’s press release:

CAD/CAM HERO Now Offering Nationwide Van Delivery, Set-up, and Installation Service

CAD/CAM HERO has always been a company that is willing to go the extra mile for our customers. Now, with the addition of our Nissan NV 2500 cargo van we can do so both literally and figuratively.

In the past, CAD/CAM HERO had no choice but to pack our CERECs in large heavy wooden crates and rely on freight carrier partners to get them to our customers. Due to the size and weight of the crates, the freight companies could rarely deliver them inside. We understood that this was inconvenient to our customers, but it was really the only way to ensure our products made it into their hands safely. In an effort to improve our customer experience, we are trying to do away with as many “crate on the curb” deliveries as possible. Hence, we view this not as an investment in transportation, but rather an investment in customer service.

Our delivery radius will extend from coast to coast in the contiguous United States. Your CEREC will be delivered by a CAD/CAM HERO technician, who will place, set-up, install, calibrate, and test the system before leaving. If you are located outside of our stated service area or for good reason don’t want full-service delivery- don’t worry, freight shipping (including international service) is still an option. To our knowledge, we are the only used CEREC reseller offering this level of service.

Buying other dental equipment for your office? Whether you are buying on eBay, direct from other doctors, or even other resellers- we might be able to help with transporting that equipment too. Contact us at with your delivery details and we’ll let you know if we can help.

I’ve purchased an Omnicam from CAD/CAM Hero in the past and all I can say is that they provide customer service like no other reseller out there.  They were timely and professional and answered every single question I asked.  I was so impressed I recently utilized their company to move some large dental equipment for me.  In less than 5 days I had all my equipment delivered without a dent or scratch on it.  I highly recommend CAD/CAM Hero for anything dental.

Dr. Jessica Kappel (El Paso, TX)

Meet the New Primescan

The long expected release of Dentsply Sirona’s next gen scanner is here. While Patterson and Schein are giddily taking pre-orders for these $69,000 machines immediately, it is not yet clear when these orders will be fulfilled. Early indications are that they are still many weeks away from mass distribution.

So what’s new?

The Primescan utilizes what they call a Smart Pixel Sensor- high-resolution sensors and shortwave light- that allow it to capture up to 1,000,000 3D data points per second at depths up to 20 mm. Dentsply Sirona claims this patented technology makes the Primescan the most accurate intraoral scanner on the market. Other new features include continuous self-heating for fog-free scanning, an increased field of view, 3 optional camera sleeves, instant data transfer, ergonomic touchscreen controls, fast and easy disinfection, and hours-long battery operation.

In addition to the Primescan, Dentsply Sirona has simultaneously released CEREC SW 5 to go along with it. This update brings with it a new GUI, intuitive touch functionality, and sharper screen resolution. It is not yet clear if CEREC 5 will be available or modified for use with Omnicam ACs.

What does the Primescan mean for the secondary CEREC market?

The Primescan effects were felt months ago. Many consumers believed, based on Sirona’s history of releasing a new scanner every seven years or so, that this announcement was imminent. Because of this, many buyers sat on the sidelines the second half of last year, resulting in a 21% market decline on package listings (scanner, mill, and oven). While significant, there still weren’t very many Omnicam scanners available by themselves, so the impact on the Omnicam scanner itself was nominal. Once the Primescan was officially released without a trade pathway however, we saw an immediate 28% decline specifically on Omnicam valuations. Without a current trade pathway, CEREC users upgrading to Primescan will be selling their Omnicams on the secondary market. The effects of which are already apparent as the number of standalone Omnicam listings has quadrupled, with an average asking price of $27,172.

If you are a current Omnicam user or seller, don’t worry, the worst of it has already passed. Once Dentsply Sirona is satisfied that they have taken full advantage of their user base who’s willing to pay any price to have it now (the shut up and take my money crowd), they will start offering discounts and trade pathways which will result in a more normalized rate of depreciation.

Admittedly, the Primescan release has not only hurt our clients, but some of our own investments as well. Looking through a rose colored glass, I can see the positive: this new scanner has been something of a “Chicken Little” scenario for the last couple years; now that the market has officially been reset, we can confidently navigate the evolving landscape of the used CEREC marketplace and can’t wait to offer used Primescans to our customers in a few years!

What’s the difference between a new and used CEREC?

This is by far the most common question I field in my line of work and is a simple question with a complicated answer. There are so many considerations that it makes an apples to apples comparison quite difficult. In order to provide a “simple-ish” answer, I am going to exclude Redcam and Bluecam from consideration. I am also going to break the answer into two parts: the Omnicam Acquisition Center and the milling unit.

Used Omnicam vs New Omnicam

Generally speaking, Omnicam ACs don’t change a whole lot year over year. You will see a few hardware changes such as an updated processor or graphics card(s), but a 2012 Omnicam is by and large the same machine as a 2018 model. The biggest consideration is whether or not the Omnicam camera is Shade Guide compatible. The ability of the Omnicam camera to detect the tooth shade while scanning was a new feature introduced with CEREC 4.5.2 software. Some of the 2012-2013 production year Omnicam ACs do not have Shade Guide compatible cameras. You can check by entering the Omnicam’s serial number (not to be confused with the AC serial number) into Dentsply Sirona’s database located here. You can find the serial number by removing the mirror sleeve and looking for the number written on the optics tube.

Software is available for free as part of CEREC club membership, so the current software version on a used Omnicam is not a huge consideration because it can be updated to the latest version, which as of today is 4.6.

Used Milling Unit vs New Milling Unit

Part two of the used CEREC vs new CEREC answer requires me to get quite a bit more in-depth. In 2013, Sirona re-branded its milling units, which makes it more difficult to make direct comparisons, but I will do my best to simplify the changes.

2007-2012 MC XL = 2013-2015 MC X

These milling units are by far the most commonly found on the used market. Aside from the name change and going from an automatic block chuck to a manual block chuck these mills are virtually identical, with nearly all the same capabilities. The major change came in 2013, when Sirona added the ability to wet mill zirconia, resins, models, and temporary materials with their Shaper 25 RZ and Finisher 10 Carbide burs. This milling strategy differed from the wet grind process used with glass ceramics and ceramic hybrids. A CEREC MC XL with a serial number >129001 or CEREC MC X with a serial number >231001 is required to use Carbide burs along with CEREC 4.3 SW or higher. If a milling unit’s serial number is below the aforementioned requirements, then it would require a motor upgrade to be Carbide bur compatible. The easiest way to tell if a milling unit has been upgraded with a carbide motor is to look at the sieve or filter at the bottom of the milling chamber. If it’s a mesh sieve that looks like this…


…then its been upgraded with a carbide motor.

 2007-2012 inLab MC XL = 2013-2015 MC XL Premium Package

These four-motor milling units are not as commonly found, but you will find a few out there. The inLab MC XL was originally designed for use in lab settings, but was the desired milling unit of enough dentists that Sirona made a clinical version called the MC XL Premium Package. The MC XL Premium Package allows the user to produce custom abutments, milled models, long-span bridges, multi-layer design, and full quadrant restorations. The two motor sets also allow the user to keep different bur sets (i.e. Step Bur 12S/Cylinder Pointed Bur 12S on set 1 and Shaper 25 RZ and Finisher 10 on set 2) to save time while going back and forth from ceramics to other materials.

2007-2015 Mills vs 2016-Current Mills

The main difference between pre-2016 mills and the current group is the ability to dry mill zirconia blocks (subject to certain requirements).


Essentially, the latest model mills have vents inside the milling chamber that suck out the dry dust into an external suction unit. This capability allows the user to skip the pre-drying time during sintering of zirconium oxide. When using Dentsply Sirona’s SpeedFire sintering furnace this pre-drying cycle takes ≈ 12 minutes. According to Dentsply Sirona, this time savings is the only benefit of the dry mill feature.

Untitled 1

Simple-ish Put Another Way

If my “simple-ish” answer gave you a headache, then perhaps this format is more helpful:

Do you want to mill zirconia materials?

You: No, I am happy with glass and hybrid ceramics (VITABLOCS, e.max, Empress CAD, Lava Ultimate, VITA ENAMIC, GC Cerasmart, etc.).

→ Then any CEREC Omnicam, MC XL/MC X, and Ivoclar Vivadent Programat CS series crystallization furnace will meet your needs.

You: Yes, I like glass ceramics and hybrids, but I’d be willing to invest more in a system that could do both.

→Then look for a CEREC package at least 2013 or newer with a milling unit serial number > 202001 (MC), > 231001 (MC X), > 129001 (MC XL), > 129001 (inLab MC XL), or > 302001 (MC XL Premium Package) that will allow you to wet mill zirconia. You will also need 4.3 CEREC SW, Premium Software 4.4, or Premium CAM Software 4.4 or later and Shaper 25 RZ/Finisher 10 carbide burs. In order to sinter your zirconia restorations, you will need a sintering furnace such as Dentsply Sirona’s SpeedFire or Ivoclar Vivadent’s Programat CS4. FYI- the SpeedFire is the fastest furnace available for sintering zirconia (10-15 mins), but it takes roughly 2.5x as long as any of the CS series furnaces to crystallize e.max (≈ 45 mins). So it might not be a bad idea to have a Programat CS/CS2/CS3 AND the SpeedFire OR the well-rounded CS4 if you plan to use both kinds of materials. The CS4 can speed crystallize e.max in ≈ 17 minutes, but it takes much longer than the SpeedFire (≈ 37 mins) to sinter zirconia after wet milling.

What is the trade-off between a wet mill vs. wet/dry mill?

It’s your typical trade-off scenario: time vs. money. When using a SpeedFire furnace, a wet/dry mill will save you ≈ 12 minutes in the sintering phase for zirconium oxide. When using a CS4 furnace, the time savings drops to ≈ 8 minutes.

The average sales price of a used Omnicam, Milling Unit, and Oven in 2018 (according to our sales records) was $54,000 with a range of $37,000-$75,000. Because most of these transactions occurred between parties in different states, there were no taxes.

Contrast that to the $152,365 bill for an Omnicam ($68,995), MC XL Premium Package ($71,000), Suction Unit ($1,375), and SpeedFire Furnace ($10,995). After local and state taxes this particular client in Utah paid $163,325.57! This cost does not yet take into account any finance charges.

So the real question becomes, does 8-12 minutes of extra production time per zirconium unit (and no difference with glass ceramics or hybrid materials) justify paying another $109,000 + finance charges?

I’ll leave that for you to decide, but as the notes on those 2016 wet/dry models reach maturity around 2021 or so they will enter the secondary market en masse, making this new vs. used CEREC debate pretty cut and dry (pun intended).

CAD/CAM HERO Now Offering Installation Services

CAD/CAM HERO wants you to have the best possible purchasing experience! So in addition to top notch packing/shipping, we now offer CEREC installation services. You do not have to purchase the CEREC from us to use our installation service.


Your installation service includes:

  • Unpacking/Clean-up
  • Set-up
  • Testing
  • and Calibration


The cost for this service is $500 + travel costs from Fort Worth, TX (this service is only available to residents of the contiguous United States at this time).

To get a quote for CEREC installation, please e-mail

At CAD/CAM HERO, We Stand Behind our CERECs

Starting September 1, 2018, CAD/CAM HERO, LLC is now offering a 30-day parts and labor warranty with all CEREC systems we sell. This is in addition to unlimited TeamViewer and phone support (normally $100/hour for non-customers).

We understand that purchasing high-value equipment sight-unseen over the Internet can be a worrisome experience. We take the needed time and follow a detailed process to ensure that our listings are up-to-date, accurate, and honest. Whether it be updating optimal drivers, deleting old patient data, or simply wiping down the exterior of the machine, we go the extra-mile for our customers. We are your eyes, ears, and hands as we perform our due diligence on your behalf. Not only that, your CEREC will come expertly packed and shipped in an export-certified wood crate (built to withstand 10,000 lbs of force!) so you receive your investment safe and sound. You can feel confident in your decision to purchase any CAD/CAM HERO CEREC system.

If you are considering selling your CEREC machine, the same process that reassures buyers also protects our clients. We assist in getting your equipment into pre-sale condition and address any issues up front, so there are no headaches later. We take care of the entire process beginning with a free inspection all the way to packing and shipping. This business model has led to hundreds of happy clients and we hope you’ll join them as well.

Last but not least, we appreciate your support of CAD/CAM HERO for the last 3+ years and helping us sell more than $3.06 million worth of used CERECs and counting! We hope to continue helping both buyers and sellers with their CEREC-related needs for many more years to come.

CEREC 4.6 SW Release

The latest iteration of CEREC software was officially announced June 7, 2018, although as with previous software versions, rollout is likely to be done in phases through Q3 and Q4 2018. With this new software version Dentsply Sirona has made it faster and easier to produce a restoration than ever before, claiming an excellent restoration can be accomplished with just 5 clicks of your mouse. Previously tedious processes such as setting the preparation margin and model axis have been fully automatized using artificial intelligence. This systematic automation in addition to a 20% faster calculation time, improved proposals from the Biojaw algorithm, and seamless integration with both CEREC Connect and inLab software make this update quite the accomplishment. Watch the video below for a visual demonstration of the improvements.

*CEREC 4.6 SW is not compatible with CEREC AC Bluecam systems.


Meet Dr. Rebecca Gabriel, DDS- CAD/CAM HERO Affiliated CEREC Trainer (Habla Español)

Smiling Dental Assistant

CAD/CAM HERO is pleased to announce a training partnership with Dr. Rebecca Gabriel, DDS of Stockdale, TX. Dr. Gabriel is a 3-year CEREC user and member in good standing of the ADA, TDA, SADDS, and ITI. She brings up-to-date knowledge, experience, and valuable Spanish speaking ability to CAD/CAM HERO’s trainer affiliation program. Please find additional information about Dr. Gabriel and her services below:

Dental school: University of Iowa- College of Dentistry

Practicing since: 2003

CEREC user since: 2015

Current CEREC equipment: CEREC AC Omnicam & MC X

Willing to train at her clinic: Yes

Clinic location: 3567 TX-123 Stockdale, TX 78160

Willing to train at your clinic: Yes, any distance.

Days available: Any Day of the Week

Daily fees: $600 + travel & accommodations

Contact info: (210) 683-0750 or

Please contact Dr. Gabriel directly to inquire about her services.

Meet Dr. Bin Hoang, DDS- CAD/CAM HERO Affiliated CEREC Trainer

CAD/CAM HERO is pleased to announce a training partnership with Dr. Bin Hoang, DDS of San Juan Capistrano, CA. Dr. Hoang is a 12-year CEREC veteran, Spear Faculty Club Member and AAID, ICOI, and IALD fellow. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to CAD/CAM HERO’s trainer affiliation program and we are excited to refer him to our customers. Please find additional information about Dr. Hoang and his services below:

Dental school: University of Maryland

Practicing since: 2003

CEREC user since: 2005

Current CEREC equipment: CEREC AC Omnicam & MC X

Willing to train at his clinic: Yes

Clinic location: 27514 Calle Arroyo San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Willing to train at your clinic: Yes, any distance.

Days available: Thursday / Friday

Daily fees: $750 + travel and accommodations

Contact info: (949) 973-2912 or


Please contact Dr. Hoang directly to inquire about his services.