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Same Day CEREC crowns

The traditional dental crown procedure requires at least two appointments with the dentist and it usually takes at least a week to restore a damaged teeth. With CEREC crowns this restoration can be done within one day and you'll leave your dentist with your tooth and smile fully restored in just a few hours.

What are the differences between traditional crowns and same day CEREC crowns?

Traditional crowns:

For traditional crowns, your dentist takes an impression of your tooth/ teeth with a putty like material. Based on your needs, you and your doctor decide the most suitable type of crown for you.
Here are three types of traditional crowns:

  • Porcelain/ ceramic: They are tooth coloured crowns. They are the ideal choice for front teeth to avoid metallic smile. (e.g emax, zirconium, lava crowns)
  • Metal crowns: They are made of metals/ various alloys. They are stronger than porcelain crowns. (e.g. metal, gold crowns)
  • Porcelain fused to metal crowns: They are a combination of porcelain and metal. The outer surface of such crowns is usually porcelain for the purpose of looks and the inner surface is metallic for offering a better bonding to tooth.

Your doctor sends the impression of your tooth, to the lab for preparing a customized crown for you. This process could take a few week and you need another appointment when the crown is ready.
Meanwhile, your dentist glues a temporary crown to protect your teeth till the permanent crown is ready. The temporary crown is made of resin and may not be that comfortable as it won’t fit perfectly. You will also need to follow diet restrictions. If not, the temporary crown may fall off when you chew certain types of foods.

In the next appointment, when the crown is ready, your dentist checks the fit of your crown, makes minor adjustments as needed and glues it to your tooth. In some cases, the crown may not fit well. In such cases, your dentist sends it to the lab again and you will need another appointment for fixing it.

Same day CEREC crowns

CAD-CAM machine

CAD-CAM machine

Single day crowns are made of ceramic. They are also called as chair side crowns or CEREC crowns.

They are trending these days, thanks to CAD CAM technology which dentists have embraced. CAD stands for computer aided designing and CAM stands for computer aided manufacturing.

This technology is perfected over three decades. Here, everything from tooth preparation to fixing the final crown is done in just a single appointment, within a few hours. There is no need of a temporary crown here.

In addition, CEREC crowns save your tooth as they require lesser preparation / filing than that required for traditional crowns.
Here, after preparing your tooth, your dentist uses a special camera called intra oral camera to take several 3D images of your tooth. Unlike traditional crowns, no impression of your tooth is needed. The camera is smaller than the point of a ball pen and is comfortable.

With the help of a computer, your dentist designs a digital 3D image of your tooth and crown with precise measurements. The design is edited for all the precisions such as indentations, ridges, pits, and fissures. Once the final design is ready, a milling machine carves a replica of the design to make a crown out of a single ceramic block. It takes only a few minutes for preparing the crown. Then, your dentist glues it to your tooth.

Advantages of CEREC crowns

  • Saves your time: There is no need for additional appointments as same day crowns are done in a single sitting.
  • Saves money: You save on appointment costs and the cost of temporary crown. In addition, for most of the people, less time off work implies, more opportunities to earn.
  • Comfortable: You skip putty like / gooey impression pastes.

Disadvantages of CEREC crowns

Though same day crowns are convenient, in certain cases, traditional crowns may be a better choice.

  • Traditional crowns give you a better smile. Though same day crowns replicate your tooth precisely, traditional crowns can perfect your smile.
  • Metal crowns are stronger and better resistant to fracture / wear and tear. Metal crowns can be made of various alloys, which enhance their bonding with tooth as well as increase their resistance.
  • If there is a fracture below the gum line, traditional crowns may fit better. Intra oral camera may not be able to capture a precise image below the gum line.
Same day CEREC crown

Same day CEREC crown

However, CEREC crowns are the best choice for following:
  • Restoring your looks quickly: Your smile is back just within few hours.
  • Preventing injury: In case of traditional crowns, your dentist gives a temporary crown till the permanent crown is available. But, temporary crowns do not fit well and may come out. Same day crowns prevent injury as they are fitted immediately. Same day crowns also keep your tooth stronger as they require less drilling and save more of your tooth.
  • Preventing decay: Dislodged temporary crowns may make room for decay.
  • Restoring function immediately: Teeth alter your speech, smile and eating patterns. Same day crowns restore all these functions on the same day.

How much does a CEREC crown cost?

Same day crowns usually cost about the same as traditional ceramic crowns. Even the equipment used to manufacture these crowns in state-of-the-art and quite expensive, the fact that there is no dental lab cost and only one appointment is needed helps to reduce the price.

In the United States you can expect to pay $800+ for a CEREC crown, in the UK prices start around £350-£400. As usual, there are significant differences in prices, depending on your location and the experience of the dentist.

If you want to know more about prices, read our article about dental crown costs here.

Need a local dentist?

Not all dentists have a milling machine in their office, so it's quite possible that a dentist cannot offer CEREC crowns.

If you need help finding a dentist in your community who does same day CEREC crowns, we recommend calling our partner at 1-855-226-0262 and they will be happy to help you make a decision.

Call 1-855-226-0262 if you need a local dentist

The CEREC technology is also used to make inlays, onlays, veneers.