What Are CEREC Dental Crowns? Are They Right for You?

CEREC dental crowns are dental devices made from a digitally modeled ceramic mold and are used to restore damaged teeth. In the past, getting a dental crown required multiple visits to the dentist and several weeks of wearing temporary crowns before being fitted with one that matched your natural tooth color. With CEREC technology, you can get permanent crowns in one visit.

Read on to learn more.

What are CEREC dental crowns?

Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, also called (CEREC) is an advanced technology that allows dentists to create custom-fitted dental crowns in a single visit and their clinic. It is a new cutting-edge form of dental restorations made from digital instead of traditional impressions. It involves using CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Assisted Manufacturing) software to create the crowns and a milling machine that carves the ceramic material into shape. Like traditional crowns, CEREC crowns are designed to match the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth, giving you a beautiful smile.

When is CEREC used?

CEREC dental crowns are used for the following:

  • Restore damaged teeth due to decay, wear and tear, or trauma
  • Replace large fillings that have become loose or worn down
  • Cover badly stained teeth
  • Secure dental bridges in place
  • Repair cracked or fractured teeth
  • Replace old, worn-out crowns

Traditional Dental Crowns Vs. CEREC

Below is a comparison between CEREC and traditional dental crowns:

  • Dental visits needed. Traditional dental crowns require multiple visits to the dentist, usually two or more. With CEREC, you can receive your new crown in just one visit.
  • Materials. Traditional dental crowns are made from various materials, including metal alloys, ceramic, resin, and porcelain fused to metal (PFM). On the other hand, CEREC crowns are made solely from ceramic material.
  • Durability. Since traditional crowns are made from different materials like metal alloys, they are less prone to breakage. On the other hand, the ceramic material used in CEREC crowns is more susceptible to breakage.
  • Lifespan. Because CEREC crowns are more vulnerable to breakage, their lifespan is significantly shorter than traditional dental crowns. On average, they last up to 10 to 15 years, while metal crowns can last up to 15 years or more.
  • Cost. The costs for both treatments vary, but generally, there’s not much difference.
  • Accuracy. Since CEREC uses a digital impression, the accuracy of CEREC crowns is greater than traditional dental crowns.

It’s worth noting that the key to longer-lasting crowns, whichever materials they are made from, is good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. This means brushing twice and flossing daily, avoiding or limiting sugary foods and drinks, and scheduling regular checkups and cleanings.

Should you choose CEREC over traditional crowns?

If you are looking for a faster way to address your damaged teeth, CEREC crowns may be the right choice for you. Like traditional crowns, they can also give you a natural-looking smile, but in a fraction of the time. However, if durability and a longer lifespan are important to you, then traditional dental crowns would be a better option.

The best way to decide is to talk to your dentist, such as this dental office in Akron, Ohio, and discuss which treatment best suits your needs.

Are there alternatives to CEREC dental crowns?

If, for some reason, you can’t receive CEREC or traditional dental crowns, here are a few of the alternatives you can consider:

  • Dentures. These are removable prosthetic devices that replace missing teeth. They can be made from either acrylic or metal, offering a more affordable alternative to crowns. However, they are less durable. See more here for more information.
  • Dental implants. These are longer-lasting treatments for missing teeth made from titanium and are surgically implanted into the jawbone. While they are more expensive than other options, they offer a more natural look and feel and a longer lifespan.
  • Onlays. While they are less strong than crowns, onlays provide a more affordable option for restoring damaged teeth. These dental pieces cover the teeth’s chewing surface and replace large fillings.
  • Inlays. Inlays are similar to onlays but smaller. They fit inside the cusps (ridges) of the tooth and are used to repair smaller areas of decay.
  • Bonding. Also known as composite bonding, this technique involves applying a tooth-colored resin material directly to the affected tooth and shaping it for a natural look. It’s an ideal option for people who want an inexpensive solution with limited longevity.

The Bottom Line

CEREC dental crowns are a great option if you need to restore your teeth fast without sacrificing the quality of your results. Similar to traditional ones, they can give you a natural-looking, beautiful smile. However, if durability and longevity are top of your list, traditional crowns are the better option. Your dentist can help you decide which crown will suit your situation.

No matter your choice, proper oral hygiene is essential to keeping your dental restorations looking great and lasting longer. Brush your teeth at least twice, floss once daily, and have regular checkups with your dentist every six months or as recommended by your dentist. With good care and maintenance, your new crown should last many years.