What are same-day crowns, and how do they differ from traditional crowns?

Oct 01, 2023

Dental crowns restore damaged or decayed teeth by covering them with a customized cap. Traditionally, getting a crown requires two visits and a temporary crown. However, CEREC technology now enables dentists to create and place crowns in a single visit. Read on to learn the benefits of same-day CEREC crowns compared to conventional crowns.

What are Dental Crowns?

Crowns protect cracked, worn, or injured teeth and improve appearance. The dentist files down the tooth and takes impressions to fabricate a cap that completely encases the visible portion. Crowns contain porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, or a combination.

Traditional crowns require sending impressions to an offsite dental lab for fabrication. It takes 2-3 weeks until the permanent crown is ready for placement. It requires a temporizing crown in the interim.

How CEREC Crowns Provide Single-Visit Dentistry?

CEREC is an abbreviation for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. This advanced system lets dentists design and mill ceramic crowns in the office.

A CEREC crown is created and placed at the initial appointment. It removes the need for a temporary crown and follow-up visit.

The CEREC process includes:

  • Preparing the tooth digitally with a 3D camera
  • Designing the custom crown using CAD software
  • Milling the crown from a ceramic block that matches tooth shade
  • Bonding the finished crown onto the prepared tooth

CEREC takes about an hour, so patients receive their permanent crown without waiting or returning visits.

Benefits of Same-Day CEREC Crowns

Choosing CEREC crowns provides many noteworthy benefits:

  • Single appointment – Only one visit is needed to complete the crown
  • No temporaries – The permanent crown is placed from day one
  • Fast turnaround – Restore your tooth in just one morning or afternoon
  • Precise fit – On-site milling creates an accurate, seamless fit
  • Durable material – Reinforced ceramic is very strong yet tooth-colored
  • Preserves more teeth – Requires less reduction of natural tooth

CEREC makes receiving a custom-milled crown convenient and fast. Ask your dentist if they offer same-day crowns.

Traditional Lab-Fabricated Crowns

Conventional crowns involve:

  • Filing down the tooth for impressions on the first visit
  • Wearing a plastic temporary crown for 2-3 weeks
  • Returning to have the permanent crown cemented
  • Additional numbing shots at the second visit

The temporaries have a poorer fit and feel less comfortable. You also must avoid sticky foods that could dislodge them. Traditional crowns ultimately restore the tooth, but the process takes more time.

How Does CEREC Technology Work?

A digital camera captures thousands of 3D images of the prepared tooth. Advanced software uses these images to design the crown for optimized form, function, and aesthetics. The integrated milling unit carves the crown from a ceramic block.

This digital precision results in crowns with proper contour and occlusion. The crown’s inner surface flawlessly matches your natural tooth shape below the gumline.

When Are CEREC Crowns a Good Option?

CEREC crowns serve as durable, natural-looking restorations for damaged or decayed teeth. Talk to our dentist near you about whether same-day crowns could benefit your situation. Understanding all your tooth replacement options allows you to make the best choice.

Many dental clinics with our Copper Vista Dental Care now offer CEREC technology to provide patients with efficient, customized restorations. Ask your dentist if CEREC could help restore and beautify your smile.

What About the Cost of CEREC Crowns?

The convenient, single-visit CEREC process understandably comes with a slightly higher cost than conventional methods. However, some dental insurance plans cover CEREC crowns similarly to lab crowns.

The long-term durability and precision fit of CEREC crowns make them a sound investment in your smile. Discuss costs and insurance coverage when exploring crown options with your dentist.

Many patients find the advantages of same-day CEREC crowns make the investment worthwhile. You avoid temporaries, additional anesthesia, and time off work for a second appointment. Protecting your natural tooth structure is also priceless.

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