Dentist and patient looking at healthy teeth and smiling.

Do same-day crowns seem too good to be true? CEREC crowns are made in-office during your tooth-prep appointment. This shaves the entire crown process down significantly, resulting in treatment that’s both speedy and convenient.

You may be wondering what the difference is between CEREC and traditional crowns and how long this time-saving option actually will last.

Traditional Crowns

Getting a traditional crown requires several appointments. You will require an initial appointment to assess your dental health and needs. At the next appointment, your teeth are prepared so that the crowns will fit over them. This requires local anesthesia and removal of external tooth structure. An impression of your teeth is taken to be sent to a dental lab. You will receive a temporary crown so that you don’t have to spend time without a full smile.

The permanent crown needs to be made at the lab. Once it is received by the office, you will schedule your final appointment. During that appointment, your temporary crowns will be removed and the final ones put in place.

CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic)

CEREC is for patients seeking something more convenient. The entire process can be completed in just one appointment because the crown is fabricated in the office.

CEREC avoids the need for temporary crowns, multiple visits, or fabrication mistakes by the lab, which aren’t discovered until placement. While you’re waiting for your crowns to be made, you’re free to relax at the office, run errands, or do anything else you like (the waiting period is usually no longer than an hour or so).

Are CEREC Crowns as Good as Traditional Crowns?

CEREC crowns are made of ceramic. You do not have the choice of other materials that exist with traditional crowns. With traditional crowns, you may have the option of metal crowns which may last longer. However, ceramic crowns look like natural teeth and are not noticeable, making ceramic the preferred option over some types of metal crowns.

CEREC crowns generally last around 10 to 15 years, which is the same as traditional ceramic crowns. You can even extend the life of your crowns with proper care, as discussed below.

In most cases, there are no real downsides to choosing CEREC crowns. Of course, as with any medical or dental care, you will need to discuss whether you are a good candidate for CEREC crowns with one of our dentists. If there is a specific reason why a different treatment option might be better for your unique circumstances, they will be able to discuss it with you and recommend the best care plan.

How to Help Crowns Last Longer

Good Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is essential to the health of your teeth, gums, and crowns. Along with your twice-per-year check-up and cleaning, brush twice a day. Do so gently with a soft brush and nonabrasive toothbrush, and continue for the recommended two full minutes. Floss daily as well.

Avoid Stains

Your diet can affect the longevity of your crown. While the ceramic material used for your crown is resistant to stains, over time, coffee, wine, tea, dark sauces, and highly pigmented fruits like blueberries can leave stains. Enjoy these foods and drinks in moderation. Of course, great oral hygiene habits will help to mitigate stains.

Tobacco can cause a lot of problems with your body and overall health. But it can also negatively affect crowns. The material of your crown, just like the enamel on your teeth, can stain with tobacco use, making a crown yellow.

Avoid Destructive Chewing

Chewing on ice or other hard food or non-food items (like pens or pencils) can damage your crown. CEREC crowns (and your teeth) are tough, but not indestructible.

Is CEREC Right for Me?

Curious about CEREC? Contact Hoffman Dental Care to learn more about this state-of-the-art technology and if this convenient option is right for you.