My name is Kyle Hornby and I am a Dentist in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. A few times each week, I present a dental topic and tackle patient questions to help raise the bar on dental knowledge available for public consumption. Knowing more means better health, less time in the treatment chair and less money spent on remedial treatment – it’s as simple as that!
This week, I’d like to discuss same-day or CEREC Dental Crowns. Specifically, I’d like to help people to know the advantages and disadvantages associated with these crowns.
Let’s start by discussing what a CEREC Dental Crown is.
What is a CEREC Dental Crown?
CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) is a dental technology for providing crowns and other ceramic restorations in a single appointment. The traditional dental crown procedure requires that a high-accuracy impression be sent to a dental lab for your crown to be made off-site. However, a Dentist that provides CEREC crowns will be able to prepare your tooth and deliver your crown all in a single appointment.
CEREC crowns can be made from a variety of materials including Zirconia (Zirconium DiOxide), Porcelain and Ceramics, and even metal alloys.
Are CEREC and “Same Day” Dental Crowns the same thing?
Some patients know CEREC by name while others have seen ads for “Same Day Dental Crowns”. Both terms refer to the exact same thing. Because your Family Dentist can deliver your crown in a single appointment using CEREC technology, they often refer to these restorations as same-day crowns.
What is the procedure for CEREC Crowns?
The procedure for making a CEREC and traditional dental crowns is essentially the same. Your Kitchener Dentist numbs your tooth, shaves about 1-2mm from the tooth’s surface, and takes an impression. The difference is that your CEREC crown is made on-site in under an hour so your Dentist can deliver it immediately. With a traditional crown, the impression is sent to a dental laboratory where your crown is custom made. The lab takes about 10 – 14 days to return the custom crown to your dental office for delivery.
CEREC Crown Pros and Cons
The main advantage to the CEREC same-day crown is that your Dentist can complete the entire treatment within a single appointment. But, are there any disadvantages?
The main disadvantage with same-day crowns is that CEREC technology restricts your Dentist to using only a few materials. Your Dentist can still make all-porcelain, Zirconia and metal crowns but they can’t make Porcelain-fused-to-Metal (or PFM) crowns. This is important because PFM crowns have long been the gold standard for balancing esthetics and durability.
While metal crowns provide the best long-term durability, PFM crowns come close and have the advantage of being the same colour as your other teeth! PFM crowns have become less common year-after-year since the introduction of CEREC technology. This is not because a better alternative has come to market but simply because more Dentists are using CEREC technology.
Specifically, these Dentists want to make crowns in-office on a same-day basis. But this isn’t necessarily the best thing for you as a patient if it means sacrificing the ability to use the right material.
For front teeth, full-porcelain and Zirconia crowns provide sufficient strength and are highly esthetic. However, for premolars and especially molars, the heavier forces they face demand the greater strength that PFM crowns can provide.
The second weakness with the CEREC approach is the lower esthetic outcome. When you have a crown made at a local dental laboratory, it’s finished by somebody who paints on different layers of shading to enhance its lifelike-look and esthetics. Most teeth aren’t a uniform colour throughout. They have whiter areas, yellower areas, and even grayer more translucent regions. A dental lab technician can mimic this appearance by taking time to carefully finish your crowns surface.
With CEREC technology, you get a crown that is more uniform in color and less natural looking.
Who provides Same-Day Dental Crowns near me?
To find a local Dentist that provides CEREC Same Day Crowns, you’ll need to do a bit of light research. The technology for providing CEREC crowns exists in less than 25% of dental offices currently. To locate a CEREC office, simply call and ask or visit a candidate office’s website. Most practices with CEREC technology market it heavily on their website. In other words, they’ll let you know if they have it.
By Dr. Kyle Hornby, Dentist in Kitchener ON
Our Kitchener Dental Office is conveniently located in Downtown Kitchener and we are a short drive away for families in Waterloo, Breslau & St. Jacobs. Our central location means we truly offer family dentistry near you!
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.