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If you’ve ever suffered a broken tooth, you know how painful it can be. The injury could require a crown or cap, which is designed as a new, protective shell for the damaged tooth.

Made from various materials such as metal, gold, resin and porcelain, crowns fit over the tooth like a glove. Traditionally, crowns are made from an impression and fabricated by an outside dental lab. However, with modern technology, we are now able to use our CEREC machine to scan, design and mill crowns in the office for a same-day visit. Here are some reasons why so many patients prefer CEREC technology.

First off, a CEREC crown requires less time for the patient than a traditional crown. In a single visit, your dentist can prepare the tooth for the new crown, scan and design the porcelain and fit the completed. Dentists will usually need about two hours to create and place the crown. Traditional crowns used to require the patient to wear a temporary crown for about two weeks while the permanent crown was being made and required a second appointment that added more time.

CEREC crowns can be extremely durable. There are different materials that we use, but most of them are a variation of strong porcelain. These materials are less likely to wear away or chip over time than traditional porcelains that have been used over the last 50 years. Biting and chewing can place stress on teeth, especially in patients with misaligned bites. In these circumstances, the dentist can use stronger porcelains and often reduce the potential damage caused by bite stress.  

In terms of appearance, CEREC crowns will be very difficult for an untrained eye to spot. Unlike traditional porcelain crowns, CEREC restorations do not contain a metal core. This allows the newer porcelains to be more natural in appearance and have a translucency much like a natural tooth. 

If the damaged tooth is located in the front of the mouth, CEREC crowns may not be the best option. That’s because a dental laboratory may be able to more closely match shade variations of neighboring teeth or correct spaces that you want to improve. Your dentist will be able to discuss your best options depending on your expectations and any potential challenges to address.

In most cases, patients are choosing CEREC crowns because they are a more technologically advanced solution to address a damaged tooth. Eliminating messy tooth molds are a benefit to many patients. Durability, aesthetically pleasing appearances and shortened treatment times are the main reasons why so many choose CEREC technology as the preferred alternative over traditional crowns.